West Holmes head coach Schuyler Jones has been impressed with the way her team has shown some comeback capabilities this season.
She would prefer they just get ahead. However, on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Mt. Vernon High School, it was an impressive second-half comeback that saw the Lady Knights claw their way back to a 2-1 victory that Jones hopes will ignite a second-half run this season.
“Hopefully this will get the ball rolling for future wins,” Jones said. “Hopefully we can keep the winning momentum going and set the tone for the next week and a half. Ideally this will give the girls more confidence and momentum going forward.”
Coming off a rough week that saw them lose big to OCC powerhouses Ashland and Mansfield Madison, the Lady Knights needed a boost and got one with the big comeback win.
Jones said while losing to very tough teams wasn’t shocking because of the level of competition, it still hurt, and she felt her girls were feeling down following the big losses. A little comeback win may have been exactly what the doctor ordered to get them feeling hale and hearty again.
“We talked a lot about putting that week behind us and coming out with a winning mentality,” Jones said. “We talked to the girls about not going into those two games against Madison and Ashland feeling defeated before the games even started, but we went in with a little bit of fear. Even though I think we could have had an even bigger deficit win for us against Mt. Vernon, it was an OCC win, so we will take it, mainly because it gets us past those last two losses.”
Jones said she sees the potential in this team, and she thinks games like this can help provide the belief in themselves that matches that potential.
In the contest with Mt. Vernon with a half-time score of 1-0 in favor of the Yellowjackets, the Lady Knights were able to climb back from a scoreless first half to put away not one but two goals to take the win, and the goals would come from a familiar source. Kerri Wagner would put away both goals for the Lady Knights.
“You watch Kerri step up in that situation and produce, and that is what you expect from your veteran leaders,” Jones said of Wagner’s scoring heroics.
After falling behind, the West Holmes defense buckled down, and freshman keeper Elyssa Sutton played well between the posts. Sutton finished with four saves, but it was the way she pushed aside giving up a goal on a penalty kick in the first half that impressed her head coach.
“It’s a tough encounter for any keeper. I don’t care who you are. And for a young freshman to be thrown into that position in her third game of the year is rough, but she handled herself well and didn’t hang her head and stayed focused and played great. I thought the rest of the girls did a great job of picking her up and keeping her positive and encouraged. She was able to roll with the punches,” Jones said.
As for her team playing better after they fell behind, Jones said it is an admirable trait but one she would rather do without.
“We have come from behind the past couple of games, and that goes to show me that they are fighters who are going to work hard regardless of what the score is,” Jones said. “In the past that hasn’t been the case, so we are starting to become the comeback kids, but I’d much rather we find a way to get on top early.”