SYCAMORE – When a team concedes a goal early, it can be tough to recover or generate any momentum. And the Sterling girls soccer team got off on the wrong foot Tuesday against Sycamore.
The Spartans scored two goals in the opening 3 minutes, and went on to beat the Golden Warriors 7-0 in a Northern Illinois Big 12 crossover match.
“We came out pretty flat. We had a goal scored on us right away at the beginning of the game, which kind of deflated their spirits a bit,” Sterling head coach Brian Cebula said. “But, the second part of the first half, and for a good portion of the second half, we started to turn things around and figure things out a little bit.”
After the opening 5 minutes, Sterling (0-2) started to settle into the game. The Warriors kept their defensive shape, and most of the Spartans’ shots came from outside the box.
Despite being peppered with shots, the Sterling defense was holding strong. Sycamore (3-1) took 24 shots in the first half, many of them off-target. Sophomore goalkeeper Mia Ashley made 11 saves in the first half, but the Warriors trailed 3-0 at halftime.
“After the initial goals, we started to settle in and started to do some of things that we needed to do,” Cebula said. “We are just using these first couple of games of the season to gauge where we are at, and kind of feel out our team.”
As the game went on, Sterling was doing a better job defending, clearing the ball and getting up field. Coach Cebula said defensive assignments on switches will be something that the Warriors will be trying to improve.
“The one thing I was saying to the girls is working on defensive communication and working on our switches,” he said. “We have played two teams now that do a great job of attacking and switching the point of attack. It is good to see these types of teams, so our girls can get used to that style of play.”