NEW PARIS — With a new coach comes a new mindset for the National Trail girls soccer program. The new coach is Lisa McCloskey, who would like to see the team playing less time on defense in 2015 and more on the attack.
McCloskey said the biggest difference for the team with a new coach will be getting used to playing a free-flowing, more offensive attack system than has traditionally been played by the program.
In order to do so McCloskey said she needs a talented group of juniors along with seniors McKenna Brinley and Emily Green to help lead the Blazers’ new attack.
Part of the reason for focusing more on offense, McCloskey said, is because the program has a talented group of forwards to help lead the team — which will result in more wins for the program. Those forwards include Brinley and Green as well as junior Katelyn Othersen, freshman Gracie Jones, and sophomore Rachel Ray.
McCloskey said this season can’t really be measured by wins and losses but should be measured on improvement as the season is mostly a rebuilding year in which the program will try to establish a more “attacking” mindset.
McCloskey expressed concerns about the team’s depth, noting conditioning will be extremely important for the team as they do not have many subs for players.
Along with scoring, McCloskey said teamwork and playing as team has been the biggest concentration of summer camp.
“Our main focus is team, team, because once they learn to play as a team, to play as one unit, the rest will take care of itself, she said.
McCloskey said the team has been focused in the summer and is ready to get the season under way, calling the the girls “upbeat and excited” as the season nears.
The team’s depth may improve if a talented group of freshmen can pick up on the pace of varsity soccer play. McCloskey believes by the end of the year the team will be much improved because of the development of her freshmen.
The season got under way for National Trail on Saturday, Aug. 22, when they hosted, and lost to, Troy Christian, 4-0.
Despite the scoreboard, McClosky said she thought her team played well.
“We held them to three goals in the first half, with the last goal coming in the last two minutes of the game. Although this was statistically a loss, it felt like a big win for our team. They proved they are competitors and really came together as a team. I was pleased with their tenacity and we are looking forward to maturing as the season continues,” she said.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062