The Central Christian College women’s soccer team kicked off the 2014 campaign Thursday with a 3-0 preseason loss in a scrimmage with Dodge City Community College.
After eight days of practice, despite having only 12 players available, the Lady Tigers were chomping at the bit to get in some live play against someone in a different uniform color. They hung tough in the first half playing to a 0-0 draw.
In the second half, the Lady Tigers had several things going against them. They had played the first half with the wind at their backs, and while it makes it easier to attack, the players still have to run against it to defend. Another factor was the field. The grass was tall, thick and lush which is great for your lawn at home, but it makes for tough soccer. It feels like you are trying to pass the ball through mud. You couple that with a stiff south wind and tired legs, and unfortunately, the game was bound to open up for the Conquistadors. The ladies played valiantly despite the odd stacked against them.
"We learned a lot about ourselves today, the good and the bad,” CCC first-year coach Scott Fogarty said. “Our fitness has a ways to go, but our attack showed glimpses of what it can be. We've got a lot of new players and we'll need some time for us to gel together on the field, but freshman Kaitlyn Bevel and Marianna Mercer proved to be a handful for Dodge's backline."
Fogarty also lauded the play of another freshman and pair of returners. "Mackenzie Woods looked very strong on the backline, while Nikki Neal and Haley McMath put a good shift in midfield helping us combine our defense and attack,” he said.
Fogarty was especially impressed with his junior netminder Twila Smedley. “Most impressively for us had to be Twila Smedley in goal. She came up with some big saves to keep us in the game. She'll need to continue coming up big for us this season."
The Lady Tigers will play their home opener on Aug. 30 when the Bethany Swedes make the short trek south for a 5:30 p.m. game.