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Coach: Ladies in ‘high spirits’ despite losses

Andrea Lopez fights for possession of the ball with Daniel Boone’s Makenna Dance. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keeli Parkey)

By Keeli Parkey

While wins haven’t been recorded in the record books, the Unicoi County High School girls soccer team (0-6, 0-2) is still having success this season.

“Although we haven’t won a game yet, the girls are in high spirits,” head coach Bettina Chirica told The Erwin Record. “One reason is because the girls have such a positive attitude with a growth mindset. For them, every time they achieve another milestone, it’s viewed upon as a victory with the drive to keep improving. Having that type of attitude is what will allow them to be successful in the long run on or off the field.”

The Lady Devils fell on the road at Volunteer, 4-0, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, and at Daniel Boone, 5-0, on Thursday, Aug. 31.

“During those games I noticed we still need to work on fitness but also positioning in the back,” Chirica said. “We need to mark up tighter and work on pressure, cover and balance.”

There were several bright spots in both games, according to Chirica.

“In the Volunteer game, Ruth Diaz did an excellent job winning the ball in the back,” she said. “Carly Kinsler had some amazing saves in goal. In the Boone game, Halie Hawkins and Spencer Garant won the 50/50 balls in the middle.”

Both games were also positive learning experiences for the Lady Devils, Chirica said.

“From both games I think the girls learned that anything is possible and winning can be achievable,” she added. “I know we lost both games, but the score really didn’t reflect how the girls played. We had possession the majority of both games, but we just weren’t able to finish, whereas the other teams capitalized every chance they got the ball.”

The Lady Devils were scheduled to host Hampton on Tuesday, Sept. 5, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline for this issue. They are scheduled to host West Greene on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m.

“Both of those games should be a good one to watch,” Chirica said. “This is Hampton’s first year with a girls team and we tied West Greene last year.”