Lady Eagles seeking playoff edge
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Fri., Nov. 2, 2012
With a record of 12-2-1 after beating Bloomfield 8-0 on Nov. 1, the Tolland High School Eagles are about to shift gears into playoff mode (after one more game vs. E.O. Smith on Nov. 5). Coach Ken Boucher said his girls' soccer team has played less than consistently in the second half of the season, and part of the problem has been keeping the intensity up in games that are not close.
“We’re just trying to be disciplined,” he said. “We have a couple of tough games, and then a couple that aren’t so tough.” For example, Boucher said that in the Eagles’ loss to South Windsor on Oct. 5, he thought they outplayed the Bobcats, especially in the second half, but weren’t playing as good as they could have, due to previous routs of weaker programs.
In order to get into playoff shape, Boucher told his team that they have to play every team like it is a 15-0 team. “Mentally, I want them to think that way,” he said. “We have to think that this other team has to beat us to get to the playoffs.”
The concern is, Boucher said, that players will tend to play franticly, instead of cool and steady. Still, he has faith that his team will come together at the right time, largely because they are simply a strong bunch of players. “It’s a great group,” he said. “We’ve got some younger kids that have stepped up very well, and the chemistry has been fantastic.”
Boucher said the team is definitely good enough to go deep into the Class M tournament. “Our biggest key is just whether we can play disciplined,” he said. “Right now, we’re trying to do that. I don’t want us to defend one-on-one. It’s about our shape [of defensive formation]. If we can do it here [against a below-average team], we can do it against a good team.”
At press time, the Eagles were set to enter the tournament as a #5-seed. Tournament brackets are scheduled to be set on Nov. 5. For more information, visit www.casciac.org.