First game jitters and nervousness got the best of the Tyler Consolidated Lady Knight varsity soccer team on Aug. 20 when they hosted their first game of the 2011 season against the Lady Golden Bears of Oak Glen.
Falling 9-0 in their first outing, the Lady Knights now have that game behind them and look to improve in several aspects in the coming weeks.
"We just broke down mentally in the game and I blame myself," said head coach of the Silver, Cliff Warner. "We worked so very hard in practice on drills and endurance and positions and didn't spend enough time on full field formations, lanes, strategies etc. I feel that it was my fault that I did not prepare them fully, and I'll gladly take the blame. But in the same stead, I expect better from them in the future."
With 26 girls on the team, Warner substituted freely in the game, allowing rookies to play alongside veterans for game experience against a competitive Oak Glen team.
"We did have a bad case of first-game jitters, so 18 of the 26 got in the game to shake those," he said. "We can't use that as an excuse anymore."
"We had our opportunities, but didn't take advantage of them. We were all disappointed in the way we played and the turn out of the game. We need to shoot more, be more aggressive and less hesitant. I think we also learned the importance of communication on the field."
"Our girls are better than they showed in this game."
The Lady Knights will play at Magnolia on Aug. 25 at 5 p.m. and will host Weirton Madonna at home on Aug. 27 at 12:30 p.m.