Rams expect improvement after first loss

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., Sep. 16, 2011
Senior goalie Jennie Mears puts her boot through the ball in the Rams' first game of the season vs. Southington. Photos by Steve Smith.
Senior goalie Jennie Mears puts her boot through the ball in the Rams' first game of the season vs. Southington. Photos by Steve Smith.

After a 1-0 loss on opening day, coach Jennifer Brindisi of the Rockville High School varsity girls’ soccer team said she liked what she saw in her team and how they responded to her halftime pep talk. Opening day jitters, she said, may have accounted for poor overall defending in the first half, but Brindisi said she talked about being more patient and aggressive on defense.

“In the second half, that helped to turn some things around,” she said, “and we made a game of it. I thought they picked it up a lot.”
Despite creating more chances, the Rams were unable to score, but there is certainly fuel for the rest of the season.

“We still need to work on how we're defending as a group,” Brindisi said. “On offense, it's just working on our timing with our runs so that our attacks are a bit more successful. We need to be more confident with the ball and play with more of a purpose out there, but we're coming along.”

While losing five players to graduation, the Rams are still strong at the back, returning three of four defenders and senior Jennie Mears in goal. Converting from midfield, junior Colleen Donohue joins veteran backs – junior Sarah Provencher and senior Shannon Lipe – and is replacing her older sister, Megan, in the back. “We needed some more backs, and she's been very strong back there,” Brindisi said. “I'm surprised how fast she's picked it up.”

Forwards will take a little more experimenting, Brindisi said, adding that she tried starting quick sophomore Sarah Vincze and freshman Morgan Skoly up top. “[Skoly] doesn't have high school experience,” Brindisi said, “but she's a threat, definitely. She's got good confidence. She's got some really nice stuff.”

Brindisi said the effort from her young players has been high, and she has seen improvement overall, which should lead the team to its goal of returning to the state tournament, after missing it last year.

There will be tests along the way – among them are two games against Fermi (Oct. 4 and Nov. 1), which has become a rivalry.

“We always seem to have night games, and we're always playing on somebody's senior night,” Brindisi said. “That's always a good, competitive game.”

For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.

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