GHS girls' soccer ratchets up the speed

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Tue., Oct. 18, 2011
It's a race to the ball for Talia Coleman (r) of Griswold against Killingly. The Wolverines took home a 3-2 win. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
It's a race to the ball for Talia Coleman (r) of Griswold against Killingly. The Wolverines took home a 3-2 win. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

Wolverine girls’ soccer coach Chris Morth has a bit of an edge when it comes to recruiting players with some speed. As longtime head coach for both indoor and outdoor track at Griswold High School, Morth sees many of his soccer players on the track during the winter and spring. “I don't think there are many, if any, teams in the area who can keep up with the speed at which we can play,” he said.

Morth, who was assistant boys’ soccer coach for six years before stepping in at the helm of the girls’ team this year,  said the girls’ skill, as well as speed, “has vastly improved” since August. “As the season has worn on, we've really worked on upping the technical parts of our game, and I think we move the ball around the field as well as almost any team around,” he said. “It took a while, but we've finally started to rid ourselves of the kickball style of soccer that I loathe so much.”

The Wolverines lost a few key starters to graduation last spring, notably captain Tina Corey, who’s now playing collegiate soccer. She left some big shoes to fill in the team’s leadership role, Morth said. “Our leadership is still a work in progress,” he said. “On different days it's different girls stepping forward, but we don't have one person who functions as the team's true leader and the glue that binds us all together.”

The team this year has five captains: seniors Katie Mikolajczak and Megan Barnes, as well as juniors Jillian Barry, Brittany Schaffer and Chelsea Camacho. Other senior players are Becca Mikolajczak and Amanda Martin.

Promising newcomers include goal keeper Alex Santiago and defender Heidi Willard, Morth said. “They're both great people with incredible work ethics, who will be mainstays of this program for years to come,” he said.

“If we can figure the leadership aspect out and continue to bond as a cohesive whole, we can become quite a dangerous squad,” he said.

With just three games left to play at press time, the Wolverines record stood at 7-4-1, after the Oct. 17 3-2 win over Killingly. Despite a tougher schedule, they’ve already matched last year’s win record, Morth said.

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