FREDERICK — The Skyline girls soccer players know they can’t make the playoffs this season, but that fact has merely shifted their determination rather than squashing it.
Playing on Frederick High’s artificial turf field because of a Wednesday snowstorm, the Falcons (4-8-2, 4-5-2) defeated Tri-Valley opponent Roosevelt (4-7-3, 2-7-2) by a score of 1-0 on Thursday.
Molding their initial playoff hopes into conviction to be better next year, the Falcons are out to finish strong in 2013. They are 2-0-1 in their last three games. So far, so good.
“A win is a win,” senior center midfielder Hannah Truesdale said. “We’re just trying to work better as a team and learn for next year, even though I won’t be here. It took us a while to build confidence because a lot of our players are new to varsity and we lost a lot of experience. We’re starting to grasp the aggressiveness and team play we were lacking at the beginning of the season.”
Scoring goals has been a major problem for the Falcons, who have netted just eight total in 14 games this season. The Falcons’ offense has improved in the past week, scoring four goals in their past three games.
Against the Roughriders, the Falcons put 11 of their 15 shots on the net, forcing Roughriders goalkeeper Kelsey Kammerzell to make 10 saves.
Thursday’s game appeared to be stuck at a stalemate until freshman forward Kaitlyn Sullivan’s first high school goal broke a scoreless tie in the 69th minute. Catching up to a bouncing cross from junior forward Jordan Barnes on the right side of the defense, Sullivan patiently took an extra touch for control and played the ball over the Roughriders goalkeeper into the far side of the net.
“It’s a confidence booster and next game I can build even more,” Sullivan said. “It was good to score one for the seniors since it’s their second-to-last game.”
Sullivan’s goal would have merely tied the game if Falcons junior goalkeeper Rebecca Kissinger hadn’t saved a penalty kick in the 37th minute. Kissinger, who said she prefers to react rather than guess and dive on penalty kicks, made seven total saves to ensure the Falcons’ third shutout of the season.
For Kissinger, Thursday’s game was about making up for a disappointing 1-0 loss to the Roughriders on March 28.
“We lost to Roosevelt the first time on one unlucky goal the first time we played them so we were out to get it done,” Kissinger said. “We also came off of a tie with Berthoud and we were so close to winning so we really didn’t want to go into overtime.”
Truesdale had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win over Tri-Valley runner-up Mead (9-2-2, 7-2-1) that snapped a four-game losing streak. They tied Berthoud (5-6-2, 4-5-2) 1-1 on Tuesday.
Falcons head coach Luis Chavez said the Falcons have been doing a better job of transitioning from defense to offense, timing runs and finding open players in the attacking third. Overall, he said his young team has matured over the course of the season.
“It’s a good feeling,” Chavez said. “We’re very proud of the girls that they’re figuring out that offensive part of it and the defense is improving, as well. We go with so much effort, so much intensity that sometimes that effort and intensity kind of throws us out of the loop a little bit. In general, we’re having a better sense of direction and which way we want to go, what do we want to do and can we try to execute. That, we’re getting a lot smarter at.”
The Falcons will wrap up their season against Northridge (1-10-1, 1-8-1). The Falcons beat the Grizzlies 1-0 in the teams’ first meeting on March 13.
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Skyline 1, Roosevelt 0
At Frederick H.S.
Roosevelt (4-7-3, 2-7-2) 0 0 — 0
Skyline (4-8-2, 4-5-2) 0 1 — 1
Goals (assists) — Skyline: Kaitlyn Sullivan (Jordan Barnes), 69th minute.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Roosevelt: Kelsey Kammerzell (80-1-10). Skyline: Rebecca Kissinger (80-0-7).