Knights unhorse Beach FriendsPublished 10:33pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Even with just one senior back on the squad this year, the Suffolk Christian Academy girls’ soccer team continued a great start to the season on Tuesday with a 5-3 home win over conference rival Virginia Beach Friends School.
Stopper/goalkeeper Danielle Stauffer is the lone senior on the team and admitted her surprise to the team’s 3-1 overall start.
“With the past few seniors we’ve lost, I didn’t expect us to be as good as we are,” she said. “But our midfielders worked really hard.”
The win also broke precedent with previous encounters against Virginia Beach Friends, which most frequently resulted in losses for Suffolk Christian.
“This is one of the first years where we’ve beaten them the first game we played them,” Stauffer said.
Suffolk Christian head coach Stacy Pauley said she was originally informed the opposing team would be short-handed and the Lady Knights would have to play only eight or nine players. It turned out that Virginia Beach Friends had 15, which changed her whole game plan, but also gave more opportunities for her players to get playing time.
“I thought it was a good game overall,” Pauley said. “I thought we were pretty evenly matched.”
Lady Knights seventh-grade forward Caitlyn Benton wasted no time in scoring, striking before two minutes had ticked off the clock. Ten minutes later, she repeated the process.
“I think we won by teamwork and ball control,” Benton said.
About midway through the first half, sophomore forward Zoe Waddell scored twice within a minute.
In the second half, eighth-grade left mid-fielder Victoria Twisdale rounded out SCA’s scoring. Pauley has made an adjustment with Twisdale, transitioning her from forward to the left wing. “She seems to be more effective in the left wing position to feed the ball up or even to be able to take shots from there, because the first couple of games she wanted to come and drill it, like get all the way up to the net,” Pauley said. “And I kept telling her, ‘No, you’ve got a foot. Start taking them from the outside.”
Twisdale has complied, and Pauley has noticed improvement in her game.
Sophomore goalkeeper Julia Jackson spent most of the game in goal, limiting the visitors to two goals, and she felt good about her team’s defense, but she wants the forwards to be more aggressive.
“We did pretty good,” she said. “The only thing we mostly need to work on were the forwards just going to the ball when the goalie has it.”
Pauley mentioned a player who did well, despite not having the numbers on paper to show for it.
“Jordan Edler plays my center midfielder,” Pauley said. “She does really well staying in that position. She’s got a pretty strong foot.”
The eighth-grade Edler is an example to follow for her teammates because Pauley said that much of the team’s players in the center of the field are still too prone to drift to the wings and leave the middle vulnerable.
“If I can get the center to stay strong, we’ll even continue to do better,” she said.
All the junior varsity players got the opportunity to play due to a recent varsity injury.
“I now only have 11 on varsity, because (Alexis) Thompson got hurt in the first game (this season),” Pauley said. “She pulled a ligament in her hip, and so she’s having to go through some therapy for a while, and then she’ll be able to go back and get back on the field.”
Pauley hopes for Thompson to return after spring break next week.
Suffolk Christian (3-1, 2-0) hosts Summit Christian Academy on Thursday.