Shaler girls soccer team developing
When section rivals Shaler and Hampton met last week in a girls soccer match, the teams were at different points in their development.
At Shaler, coach Chris Cantanese is working with a young and improving squad, while at Hampton, new coach Bill Paholich is trying to keep up a winning tradition that is historic in nature.
Hampton defeated Shaler, 3-0, to build a three-game winning streak. But while Hampton got momentum, the Lady Titans did some good things, too, as they forge their path this season.
Hampton got a goal at the 36:39 mark when junior Lauren Doutt gave Hampton a 1-0 lead going into the half.
Shaler nearly tied the game early in the second half, but the shot hit the crossbar and ricochet out.
Shortly after that, Lauren Frey and Taylor Starr each netted goals that essentially put the game away.
The three goals aside, the Shaler defense played well much of the evening — as did goalie Carley Feehan, standing up and contesting several shots.
“We do have a lot of young girls in back,” Cantanese said. “They did rise up, and we tried to neutralize their speed and give some extra help but Hampton is a good squad for sure.
“In the second half, the levee broke on us, but we did get our feet back under us and got a good push at the end.”
Cantanese said the shot off the crossbar could have changed the game, had it gone in.
Paholich said the three-game winning streak is a nice thing, especially after a 0-2 start and a tough stretch ahead.
“Shaler played well, and they always play smart defense,” Paholich said. “Their goalie always comes up big, but the difference was we won the balls in the air.”
Hampton captains Coleen Brodman, Caroline Caridi and Frey agreed that winning the ball in the air was the difference, and although they are happy with the win, they know this is no time to relax.
“We have been communicating better, and we want to slow the game down,” Caridi said. “If we do that and play our game, we will be good.”
Frey ran wild on the outside edge much of the game and said her goal helped give the Lady Talbots some breathing room.
“That put us over the top,” Frey said. “This helps boost our confidence. We just need to stay composed (at points in) games.”
Brodman said the win was big, but she thinks the team has yet to play its best game.
“Scoring first in these games is definitely key,” Brodman said. “It has the other team put their heads down.
“We will keep practicing hard and working hard to improve.”
For Shaler, Cantanese said the focus will be on the simple things like possessing the ball better and helping the young players continue to build from that.
Paholich has a different message for his squad: He wants them to relax more with the ball in front of the opposing net.
“We have to be more composed near the goal,” Paholich said. “You can't score every time, but with enough quality chances, some will go in.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.