Young Clipper girls' soccer team catching on

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Mon., Oct. 7, 2013
Captain Ayanna Perez charges toward the goal. Photos by D. Coffey.
Captain Ayanna Perez charges toward the goal. Photos by D. Coffey.

Coach Rick Konieczny gathered the Putnam High School Clipper girls' soccer team around at halftime during a game against Wilcox Tech on Oct. 3. The Clippers were up 2 to 0, but he saw them faltering during the latter part of the first half. He peppered them with advice and reminders.

“There was a great flow at the beginning of the game, and then you got into a funk,” he said. He reminded them to talk to each other, to look for their midfielders, and to take a look at the field before they kicked the ball. “You’ve been wide open all through the middle,” he said. “You’ve got to make them give up the ball. But watch out for their speed on the outside.”

The Clippers are a young, inexperienced Constitution State Conference team with a 4-3 record. Five freshmen and three sophomores are in the starting lineup. “They’ve come a long way,” Konieczny said. “They’ve been working hard. I’m really happy with their progress.”

The beginning of the season was rough. The goalie, back, midfielders and strikers are freshmen. “We tried to give them patterns that weren’t too complicated that they could work with, like give and gos and dropbacks,” the coach said. As the season progressed, he’s made them work on their ball handling skills. Game IQ will come with time and experience. 

“They’ve gotten better with the pace of the game,” Konieczny said. “They’re getting their legs. Overall they’re a good group of kids. They work hard. Win or lose they put up the same effort. That’s what you ask for from the team. As long as they do that, you can’t go wrong.”

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