New-look CHS loses to Demons
After three seasons of playing it safe, the Central girls soccer team is starting to take risks.
With risk comes opportunity, but the conversion of those chances is still missing.
The Warriors, after forcing a 0-0 tie at halftime Friday afternoon, finally faltered in the second half in a 4-0 loss to Durango at Long Family Park.
But the way the Central girls played is a far cry from the past three seasons.
The days of being known largely for one-goal margins and an unorthodox 5-4-1 formation are done, Warriors coach Jacob Pingel said.
Against Durango, the Warriors rotated between a 4-5-1 and a 4-3-3 with wings playing high on the outside.
The new look created numerous chances around the net, even though Central finished with only four shots on goal.
Late in the first half, sophomore Jaylynn Medina nearly connected on an extremely difficult scissor kick.
Although the ball glanced off the back of her cleat, senior Abigail Cook collected the rebound and launched an arching shot that sailed over the crossbar by less than a foot.
Between Medina, Cook and freshman Rylea Rottman, the Warriors’ attack ping-ponged the ball around the penalty box, nearly breaking through at different points.
“We’re putting opportunities into the box, and we’re doing a good job of creating chances. Now, we just need to put them on the frame and into the net,” Pingel said. “The next step is willpower. That’s what it’s down to now.
“Getting over the thought of, ‘Can we do it?’ and moving to, ‘Yes, we can do it.’ That’s really the final step this team needs to take.”
Pingel considers himself to be a conservative coach, but he said he looks at his roster and realizes there is no way this team can sit back.
“I’ve always played it safe with the defensive-heavy game, and I’d rather play it safe,” Pingel said. “But with the talent we have — and it’s undeniable that we have talent — we have to take chances. We can’t be satisfied playing it safe anymore, and we have to be willing to take our chances.
“I think we make a couple adjustments to the defensive line and we don’t get beat during a couple one-on-one opportunities, and we’re in that game at the end. I don’t think we need to falter back to that five-man defense, go heavy and play it safe. I think we have to take our chances, and in the end some of those chances will roll our way.”