By Nick Beversdorf
Out at the MARC on a cold, gloomy, windy Saturday, the Bluejay girls varsity soccer team faced off against three non-conference teams: Pulaski, Spooner and Phillips in a tournament, winning one and losing two.
The first of the three games was against Pulaski, and it very much did not go the Bluejay’s way. Pulaski pushed hard from an offensive standpoint, almost always keeping the ball in Bluejay territory. Pulaski had 23 shots (11 on goal) and although goalie Gabby Schlegel did her best to stop the onslaught of shots, including a penalty kick, three of them found their way into the net. The final score was 3-0.
The second game against Spooner marked the Bluejay’s first season win. With a final score of 1-0, the Bluejays played much better offensively than the previous game, keeping the ball mostly within Spooner territory and getting 18 shots (14 on goal). Nonetheless, that crucial shot remained elusive until around the 38-minute mark when Emily Page sent the ball down to Brianna Grosskurth who kicked it into the goal just far enough to the right to prevent the goalie from getting a hold of it.
“It was the Spooner game where we finally got our win, but man, we should have won at least 5-0,” comments head coach Stephanie Nelson. “We out-shot them 18 total shots to 2 total shots (14-2 shots on goal). The goal was pretty at least; we’ve been working hard in practice and Emily Page did exactly what we’ve been working on and Bri Grosskurth finished it well! I’m glad we got the win, but I want the girls to never be satisfied with a win; I want them to be satisfied when they know they played their best as a group.”
The last game saw the Bluejays fall back into another defeat, although this time it was not due to any single failure on their part. It was a 1-0 loss with the only goal made off a throw-in to a Phillips girl who, in Nelson’s own words, is “FAST.”
“Don’t get me wrong, it was a good goal, wasn’t lucky, but that is not the result that should have defined the game,” she adds. “We put a ton of pressure on them offensively, but we just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net. We had four good shots on net, but then blasted seven shots not on goal. So our total shots for both teams were six for Phillips and 11 for us. We also possessed the majority of the game, but their tactic was to just boot the ball as far as they could and send their fast player off to the races. Talent-wise, we were the way better team, but that’s the issue with only doing 25-minute halves, you have almost half the amount of time to get a goal, so if you can’t get your job done quick, you lose.”
Bluejay girls varsity soccer will play their next game tomorrow, May 3 at 7 p.m. at WI Rapids-Lincoln.