By CINDY CROSBY Cindyc4@yahoo.com
The Colleton County Lady Cougar Soccer team dropped Region VII-AAAA contests against James Island High School (12-0) and May River High School (6-0) last week. They are currently 2-5 overall and 0-5 in Region VII-AAAA.
Their schedule has been heavily impacted by COVID-19 cases within region competition. “Our girls went into the James Island game ready to play,” said Coach Danielle Van Hulst. “Because of the rough season we have encountered, getting in shape and staying in shape has really taken a toll on our game play. The girls came in after two practices and played a new formation. As we subbed, we adjusted players and the team adjusted as well. James Island was a more defensive game for us. Our back line consists of veteran players (Lyndsey Montjoy, Dorothy Dessoye, Faith Bishop and Lauren Reynolds) who are stepping up for us this year.” “In the first half, we did well at pushing James Island to the outside and giving up few shots close to goal, this was our game plan,” said Van Hulst.
“James Island recognized it and even stated that they needed to change things. We trailed 4-0 at the end of the first half. In the second half, we started getting tired. We subbed as much as we could, but with only two subs, we were struggling. We decided to try to stop the attack and give our defense some help. Sierra Obenaus dropped center to join the back line which took away help from our attack. Rush Blackshear finished out the second half in goal for us doing her best and stepping into the position without hesitation. Although we lost, we saw much improvement.” “The next day on the road against May River, it took us about 20 minutes to wake up and start playing,” said Van Hulst.
“After a few adjustments we were able to play and compete with May River. At half it was 4-0. Within the first 20 minutes these goals were scored. I believe this is because of playing back to back and the girls had to find it within to start playing.” “Coming out after half time, the girls finally found themselves and came out making tackles, defending and attacking well,” said Van Hulst. “We were able to get more passes put together and shots on goal. It all started to click. Sierra Obenaus was able to get off some long-range shots. Caroline Stephens added to mix with a couple. It started to become a physical game because we were matching their play. Our two center midfielders (Anne Mathis Thomas and Brylie Dewey) were able to not only defend the play coming in but take the touch to get passes off wide for us which helped the attack. Again, our defense and keeper (Rush Blackshear) came up big for us. Rush had 23 saves.” “These two games have been the best ones we have seen all year,” said Van Hulst. “With a strong 16-man team and only 13 being able to play, the girls are overcoming and powering through. Their communication levels have grown and the support they have for each other is growing. Coach LaPresta, Coach Reid and I are extremely proud of how the girls continued to push through and fight even though they were tired. The passion seems to finally be finding us. I just wish we had a regular season for the girls' sake, but this gives me hope for next year.”