Their goal this year is to improve on last year’s 7-10 record. And although Clinton was beat out by one of the state’s top-rated teams, even Pleasant Valley’s coach commended the 2013 squad.
“That’s the most organized I’ve seen Clinton in the last five years,” said Richard Markham (who also coaches the Ashford University mens teams). “It’s a steppingstone process. The key is to get better and better.
“Today, I saw a team that tried to possess the ball. They’re on the right track.”
Feaster said the girls were discouraged going into halftime. He credited senior leadership with pushing the team and picking up morale in the second half. Behind freshman keeper Krista Atkinson (six saves, two goals allowed), the Queens allowed only eight shots on goal, compared with 14 in the first half.
“We were able to challenge them and make it tougher for (Pleasant Valley) to get a shot off,” Feaster said. “It’s hard to defend their speed. But we told the girls to step up, keep your heads up and get after it.”
There will be a lot of adjusting and experiments with this group. However, both coaches said they were optimistic to see how this year’s team will turn out.
“The main point is to see drastic improvement from last year to this year,” Mesick said.
Several players are being asked to step into new positions, and the staff feels that everyone on the team is malleable to fit the Queens’ objectives.
“We’ve got a lot of girls who are willing to play where we ask them to,” Feaster said. “There’s girls that will just run and run all night if we ask them to. That’s what we’re looking for.”