The theme for Marshfield’s girls soccer team this fall could be summed up in the phrase “be patient.”
The Pirates are fielding a young team, with no seniors and only five returning players. Perhaps not surprisingly, they have started the Sky-Em League season 0-3 after their latest loss, a 4-2 setback to visiting Cottage Grove on Wednesday at Pete Susick Stadium.
“We’ve just got to have patience,” said Kaleigh England, one of the team’s captains.
“We have a lot of young players,” added fellow captain Milagros Perez Nanez. “We’re still trying to figure out who is going to play where.
“A lot of these girls, it’s their first time playing soccer.”
The leaders encouraged their teammates after the match to keep their heads up, stay positive and keep working.
It’s a message they know well, having been essentially new players themselves a year ago.
“We’ve all been in their shoes,” said Perez Nanez. “We encourage them to not give up. One day, it is all going to click.”
It just might take a while.
“Next year we are going to be good,” England said.
The Pirates still have a lot to play for this season, too, one that coach Jose Perez calls a building year.
“Right now we are just starting to bond,” he said. “The chemistry is starting to build. Once we build it, we are going to be a tough competitor.”
The girls said they are not looking at the fact that they had just 11 players on the pitch, all needing to play all 80 minutes, as a bad thing.
“You just have to tell yourself there are no subs, so you are going to get better by playing the whole game,” Perez Nanez said.
Marshfield fell behind 2-0 at halftime and trailed 3-0 after Cottage Grove’s Emma Walker got her third goal of the match, all from long range.
Then they got a spark.
With just under 15 minutes to go, Rylinn Clark put a corner kick in front of the net and England headed it in.
“She just kicked it (perfectly),” England said. “I was just there at the moment.”
The goal lifted the spirits of the Pirates.
“When somebody gets a goal, everybody gets happy,” England said.
England assisted another goal with 4:14 to go when she kicked a through ball to speedy Isabel Perez, who dribbled it toward the goal and knocked it past the Lions’ keeper.
But Walker put the game out of reach when she had her fourth goal for Cottage Grove, a long shot that deflected off a defender into the net.
Marshfield, which had its best offensive output of the season in a 7-3 loss at Elmira on Monday, finishes the first round of league play at home against Marist Catholic on Monday and then hosts Junction City, which it held to just two goals in a loss in the league opener, on Wednesday.