Southwest are now 4-2 entering Friday's league game with Croatan
Southwest girls’ soccer coach Chelsea D’Zurilla doesn’t hide the fact she expects her team to improve throughout the season.
And the Stallions’ fourth-year coach believes her squad is capable of doing just that.
“We have a lot of things to work on, but the team is committed to those things, which is a good sign,” D’Zurilla said. “They know that every day in practice they have high expectations to progress, and they work hard. I don’t have to beg them to work.”
The Stallions didn’t need to work too hard Wednesday in a 4-0 win over Trask in the Coastal 1-A/2-A Conference opener for both teams.
It was a victory that saw senior Corrianna King score twice and juniors Kasey Wacker and Riley McCauley each add a goal while junior Kaitlyn Reidl had 2 assists and senior Emily Shephard one.
The win over Trask (2-2, 0-1) came four days after the Stallions (4-2, 1-0) suffered a 3-1 loss to Cedar Ridge in The Brittany Showcase in Wilson. Southwest turns around and plays host to Croatan (4-1-2, 2-0) in a key conference match Friday.
“We will have to work hard in every conference game,” D’Zurilla said. “Each team in the conference shows something different.”
What the Stallions show is a team that is quite young, D’Zurilla said.
While Southwest has experience with the likes of Shephard, King, McCauley and junior defender Laney Gonzalez, the team overall only has five seniors and eight juniors with the rest freshmen and sophomores.
Southwest graduated eight seniors from last year’s team that went 16-5-3 and lost 1-0 in the East Regional semifinal at Carrboro, which won its second consecutive state title.
Shephard, who tops the team in scoring with 6 goals and 4 assists, said the upperclassmen take seriously their roles as motivators.
However, she added that something else in particular helps the Stallions stay focused.
“We have a devotion of the day and we all wear pinky tapes on our finger,” Shepard said. “When we look at them, it encourages us to push forward knowing all of us have this.”
The Stallions certainly try to all be on the same page, Shephard and King said.
McCauley ranks second in team scoring with 5 goals and 1 assist while King is third with 3 goals. Five other players have 1 goal.
“Our team is very quick and we have a lot of people who can score,” Shephard said. “I think every team needs that.”
But every team also have room for improvement.
“We need to keep working on being the first one to the ball,” King said. “We have to do that to move it forward.”
D’Zurilla agreed pushing the ball forward was a point of emphasis.
“We need to continue working on possession and on our first touches,” she said. “We always need to work on finding different runs and switching the field with the width we have.”
GOALS–S: King 2, Wacker, McCauley. ASSISTS–S: Reidl 2, Shepard. IN GOAL–T: Pfeiffer (14 saves). S: Aaron (0 saves), Cochran (0 saves). SHOTS ON GOAL–T 0, S 19. CORNER KICKS–T 0, S 6. RECORDS–T: 2-2, 0-1, hosts Pender on Friday. S: 4-2, 1-0, hosts Croatan on Friday.
Chris Miller can be contacted via email at chris.miller@jdnews or by calling 910-219-8472