Wet fields hampering speed for Lady Cougars

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The Colleton County Varsity Lady Cougar Soccer team finished the opening week of regular competition with wins over Whale Branch High School (11-1) and Edisto High School (8-0), along with a loss to Wade Hampton (7-0).

The Lady Cougars opened with a win against Whale Branch High School Tuesday March 3 on the road. Sierra Obenaus scored six goals and had one assist, Kaylee Reimel scored three goals and had two assists, while Faith Bishop and Ann Mathis Thomas each scored one goal. Rush Blackshaer had two assists and Lauren Reynolds had one assist.

“Obenaus scored within the first minute of the match to set the tone for the evening,” said Coach Brian Reid. “Our game plan was to focus on high pressure and really pushing the attack. The plan paid off with a 4-0 halftime lead. Whale Branch did a good job adjusting from our previous scrimmage and really slowed down our attack.

“A mistake by our keeper in the first five minutes of the second half led to Whale Branch cutting the lead to 4-1,” said Reid. “The momentum really shifted to their favor. We did a very good job withstanding the change in momentum and responded with several goals. It is always great to win the first game of the season.”

Colleton County came out and showed a high-pressured attack in the win over Edisto High School on Monday March 9 at Cougar Stadium. Nikki Carnesolta got the shutout in goal. Obenaus scored six goals and had two assists. Reimel scored one goal and had two assists and Dorothy Dessoye scored on goal. Ann Mathis Thomas had two assists.

“We ran our system well,” said Reid. “The plan was to continue with a high-pressure attack along with focusing on connecting our pattern of play. Edisto played really spread out in the first half which allowed us to pass through the gap and run our stuff, leading to an 8-0 halftime lead. They did a good job of adjusting in the second half and condensed the field. Unfortunately, we fell in a trap to playing their game in the second half and had difficulty connecting passes.”

On the road against top-ranked Wade Hampton Wednesday March 11, the Lady Cougars saw tough competition in a familiar foe. “Going into the contest, we knew this would be our toughest competition so far this season,” said Reid. “Wade Hampton came out on the attack and put a lot of pressure on us. They took a quick lead in the match and never looked back. Our speed of play was not comparable to Wade Hampton. As they continued to attack, we continued to fall apart, getting out of formation and falling into a defensive shell. Falling into a defensive shell just allowed Wade Hampton to continuously attack us. I knew this game would test us, but I did not foresee us falling apart.

“We have a young team with only two returning starters,” said Reid. “We have a lot of new faces starting, but we must have composure in tough matches. Part of our struggles come from limited practice time on a field and when we do get to practice on a field, it is muddy. It is hard to get your speed of play when you practice in a marsh and players are struggling with footing. We must find a way to improve our speed of play so we can be competitive throughout the rest of the season.”

The Lady Cougars join other SCSHL teams as they wait to discover if they will play the remainder of the season due to restrictions from measures to contain COVID-19.

“Everyone wants to continue playing and I completely understand their feelings, but we have to keep everyone safe,” said Reid. “Playing soccer is a privilege. Our players’ health and their families’ health are far more important than any game. I just want everyone to be safe during this break.”

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