EATON — A strong first half helped the Preble Shawnee Lady Arrows soccer team get past county rival Eaton when the teams played on Thursday, Aug. 27. Shawnee won 3-2.
The Arrows come into the season with high hopes, and head coach Kevin Schaeffer saw reasons for optimism — and concern — as a second half comeback from Eaton nearly cost his team a victory.
Afterward, Schaeffer spoke about his team’s up-and-down game.
“As we saw in the first half, we can dominate when we execute,” he said. “This leads me to believe that we can be a possession team, and those are always the elite teams in the state.”
However, after the slow second half Schaeffer found himself challenging his team to reach an elite level.
“We can be great. I really believe that. But at what risk? One night, or even one half of poor execution can lead to a loss. Do we want to try and be great? Or, do we want to be a good team that will win a lot of games but never compete with the best of the best? I want to be the best, but we need to commit to something and succeed very soon,” he said.
Schaeffer said he was really happy with his team’s play in the first half, because he felt his entire team was involved offensively.
“Our outside wing backs are becoming dangerous players when we hold possession. Our opponent could not defend our wing back runs, few teams can. Ashton Collins and Logan Hollon have really started to recognize the different kinds of quality runs that can come out of the back and are making those run wisely,” he said.
Shawnee used the strong first half to jump out to a two-goal lead after Meagan Lindon and Saylor Jewel found the back of the net. The lead was three after only a few minutes in the second half had gone by when Carlee Jones found Alyssa Davidson for the Arrows’ third goal.
In a game of few chances like soccer, three goals might seem insurmountable, but the Eagles stormed back ,getting two goals of their own when Mariyah McKlevin and Kate Bulach scored.
Schaeffer said both goals were results of mental breakdowns by his team and said his team must clean up those types of mistakes if they want to become an elite team in the state.
The Arrows will have a chance to find out if they are ready to be elite this week, when they host defending state champion Hamilton Badin on Saturday Sept. 5. Prior to Badin, two tough league opponents sit on the schedule — the Arrows play at Madison on Tuesday, Sept. 1 and host Milton Union on Thursday, Sept. 3.