WEST HARTFORD >> The Hall High girls soccer team has already learned a valuable lesson and will be better off for it as the season wears on.
It took just three games, but the Warriors know they had better show up each and every time out and give their best effort if they want to accomplish their goals.
Hall won three of its first four games, including a 2-1 victory over defending Class M state champion Northwest Catholic in the season’s second game. Instead of building off the momentum the win over the Lions should have provided, the Warriors lost their next game, 2-1, at Manchester on Friday.
“It was a nice win at Northwest Catholic, a good game for us, a rival school in town but then we followed it up with a disappointing loss to Manchester,” Hall coach Scott Ferguson said. “We lost our identity after that win over Northwest and it looked like we thought we could just show up.”
Hall started the season with a 3-0 win at Windsor and rebounded from the Manchester loss with a 4-2 victory over Bristol Eastern on Monday to open a stretch of six straight home games. There was improvement Monday but still room to grow.
“This is a team that has to work and rely on using our athleticism and formation,” Ferguson said. “We played about 20 minutes of good soccer and that won’t be enough. We learned something from the Manchester loss and were better against Bristol Eastern but still not complete.”
Last season Hall was 8-4-4 in the regular season and seeded 14th in the Class LL Tournament. The Warriors defeated No. 19 Trumbull, 2-1, in two overtimes in the first round and knocked off No. 3 Fairfield Warde in the second round. The Warriors faced their third straight FCIAC foe in Ridgefield in the quarterfinals and the No. 6 Tigers edged the Warriors 3-1.
The Warriors lost six starters to graduation including goalie Claudia Hess, who is currently a freshman goalie for Army at West Point, Kyanna Alleyne, a freshman forward at American University who has played in nine games including one start so far this season, and Chantelle Swaby, who has started seven of Rutgers’ first eight matches on the back line and the Scarlet Knights are off to a 6-1-1 start that includes a 2-0 win at No. 10 UConn.
“We lost our goalie, a defender, our entire midfield and a forward, six starters and they were very talented starters, integral players,” Ferguson said.
Despite the losses to graduation, Ferguson has high expectations for this group. Three wins in four games is a nice start considering that the Warriors are working with a new group of starters but the objective for the program is to accomplish more than a fast start to the season.
“What I said to them is that the expectations are the same as last year,” Ferguson said. “We talked about winning every game possible and going as far as we can in states. There is no number of wins designation but I can never go into any game saying we will be lucky to be competitive. They need to work hard enough go in and believe we can win every game, not we lost all these girls form last season.”
Helping the team gel togther so far have been senior captains Charlotte Apter, Cammie Cho and Shannon Murphy. They are producing on the field and leading on and off it for the Warriors.
“Cammie has scored a bunch go foals for us and we are getting some good production from her up front,” Ferguson said. “All three of them are good captains and they have really bought into us working hard and becoming a different kind of team. That’s helpful in getting the rest of the team to buy in as well.”