Thursday, July 24, 2014

Patience needed for Cyclones soccer team

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 4/2/2014

Patience is needed for the Ottawa High School girls soccer team. The Cyclones are a team playing a tough schedule coupled with inexperienced players.

“[Monday] night was the beginning of our learning experiences,” Ottawa coach Kelly Smith said. “We are relatively young. We lost a huge core from last year. We have some experienced players out there.

Patience is needed for the Ottawa High School girls soccer team. The Cyclones are a team playing a tough schedule coupled with inexperienced players.

“[Monday] night was the beginning of our learning experiences,” Ottawa coach Kelly Smith said. “We are relatively young. We lost a huge core from last year. We have some experienced players out there.

“When you lose six dominating players with experience, it is tough. Then you start off with teams that have experience at the state level. We learned some things from Monday’s game. We learned some more [Tuesday]. Both of our second halves, we made some improvements. There is just not enough yet.”

Ottawa lost to Spring Hill and Bonner Springs at home by identical 10-0 scores.

“It is a little bit of a rough start, but it is not anything different than we are used to,” Smith said. “We need to keep our attitudes positive. We need to keep coming to practice and working hard. If we really want to compete, we need more than three girls playing in the off-season.

“Otherwise, it is going to be a battle like this year after year. The three girls that played in the off-season are conditioned and they are mentally into the game. It makes a huge difference. It really helps.”

The Cyclones traditionally have started the season slow and gained momentum toward the end of April or the first of May.

“It is a physical battle and a mental battle to keep our spirits up,” Smith said. “I believe in them.”

Smith said the learning process may not be quick enough to win these early-season matches.

“If we can fix one or two things each match, we will be OK,” she said. “We want to have things to build on. We all recognized we were diving for the ball in Monday’s match. “We struggled with it [on Tuesday]. We will work on marking.”

The Cyclones play their third match in four days today at Seaman.

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