Despite a 5-0 final score in the penultimate non-district soccer contest against La Grange, Sealy Lady Tiger head coach Adrian Rocha took plenty of positives away from last Friday’s match before district games start up next Monday.
“They are seeing that they have to really care and work hard. They did work hard, but again, this whole preseason is about experience,” Rocha said. “It’s about them feeling the pain, feeling that they have to work to get the price.”
The Lady Leopards got on the board 10 minutes into the game thanks to Angela Martinez who cleaned up a rebound, but the same 1-0 score remained at the halftime intermission.
In the second half, however, La Grange woke up and scored two more times in the first 10 minutes and added another pair of goals five minutes apart, building up to a 5-0 lead with 14:45 remaining in the game. Despite the deficit, the Lady Tigers continued to work and get more experience on the field against a strong team.
After the final horn sounded, Rocha knew his team has been learning from every game and understands the bonds that are being built before the real tests begin.
“They were working more together and hustling with the speed, (the Leopards) were fast,” the coach said. “The defenders were really, really working. They were pushing it. They were the ones maintaining everything.”
Of course, the major thing on the mind of Rocha is the health of his players, most importantly his goaltender Sofia Olvera who came out at one point in the La Grange game and left the field with ice on her shoulder.
“It’s not that I don’t care about these games. It’s just that we need everybody healthy for district because that’s what’s going to get us to the ultimate goal,” Rocha said. “Sofia has had some injuries but she’s the returning MVP, she’s a senior, she’s graduating after this season and we will miss her.”
Before then, though, the district slate of games will begin Monday after the non-district portion of the schedule came to a close earlier this week against Katy Paetow. Rocha and the Lady Tigers will hit the road for their first two district contests, first to Rice on Jan. 27 and then to Stafford on Jan. 31 before the first district game at home happens on Feb. 3 against the Needville Lady Jays.
“I feel confident going into district,” Rocha said. “I’m not so worried as long as I have some strong players. I always tell them it’s a 50-50 thing; it’s 50% on the coaches, 50% on the players. All these games that we’re losing, it’s just getting them the feeling for district. With a team the size that we have, we have to take these losses and work with them to prepare us for the district schedule.”