There comes a time when the light bulb goes off for young soccer players.
PLYMOUTH – There comes a time when the light bulb goes off for young soccer players. That’s the time when experience on the field in practices and games finally kicks in and everything about their game become easier and more natural.
The rising stars on the Plymouth North girls soccer team are getting closer to that light bulb moment but there’s still some work to do before they can get to where they are aiming to be this season.
"We just finished a stretch where we played six games in 14 days and we won four of those games, so we’ve been doing some good things," Head Coach Eric Foley said earlier this week. "We’re already halfway into the season and the second half of the schedule goes really fast with a bunch of tough games. We need to keep improving and working on the things that will make us a better soccer team."
The Blue Eagles reached the midpoint of the season with a record of 7-3. The losses have come against Patriot League powers Hingham, Whitman-Hanson and, most recently, Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Hanover. It was the first time North had been shutout in a game this season.
"We had a defensive breakdown in the first 90 seconds and Hanover took advantage to score a goal," Foley said. "Those are the kind of mistakes we need to clean up if we want to be considered with some of the top teams in the league."
After playing mostly JV last season, sophomore goaltender Kylee Carafoli is doing well in her first year as the varsity starter. She’s relied on an improved Blue Eagle back line to post five shutouts.
"Kylee’s adjusting well to playing at the varsity level. There’s still things she needs to work on but the more experience she gets will only add to her confidence as a goaltender," Foley said.
Returning Patriot League All-Star Megan Banzi anchors the back line and can jump into the flow of the offense when needed. Sophomore Erin Richards is growing into her own as a defender. Senior Maggie Driscoll and junior Caileigh Koylion added into the mix give the Blue Eagles a solid core for the defensive group.
Senior co-captains Abby Petty and Abby Sinewick provide a strong link from one end of the field to the other at the midfield position.
One area where the Eagles have noticeably improved over recent years is putting balls in the back of the net. Sophomore Carly Schofield and junior Caileigh Driscoll have developed a nice chemistry on the field that’s led to several goals for both players. Juniors Liz Healy and Kylee Slavik have also provided the offense with a boost in the first half of the season.
But there is a lot more work to be done.
"I still want to see more consistent play" in the second half of the season," Foley said. "We’ve done some good things so far but there are always areas where we can improve our play. We still haven’t played a full game yet."
Plymouth North began a four-game home stand Thursday against Marshfield. Nauset comes to town Saturday for an 11 a.m. contest with games against Scituate (Wednesday) and Hingham (Monday, Oct. 7) follow after that.