By Greg Gielczyk
HOUGHTON LAKE — It’s not that the Roscommon girls soccer team doesn’t have a bench. Quite the contrary, the Lady Bucks’ numbers are exceptionally good this season and there’s no lack of players coach John Sinnaeve can shuttle into the game to give the others time to rest on the sideline for a bit.
Experience is the problem. The Lady Bucks have only a handful of players coming back from last year, which leaves Sinnaeve with a bunch of players who need to adapt to the speed of varsity soccer as well as learn how to play together as a unit when they’re out on the field.
Compounding their troubles has been their inability to get outside to work out. In fact, a pre-season scrimmage and their first regular season game were canceled because of inclement weather and poor field conditions.
The Lady Bucks’ first time outside came Saturday, April 16 when they competed in the Houghton Lake Invitational and while the results could have been better — Roscommon finished 0-2-1 on the day — early indications were encouraging for Sinnaeve.
Roscommon, which is Division 4 this year, faced Suttons Bay in the first game and battled the Lady Norsemen to a 1-1 tie, then lost to Division 1 Sault Ste. Marie by a 3-0 score before finishing the day with a 2-1 loss to Oscoda.
“We played a very good game (with the Soo) and the girls started improving, you could see it, since the first game,” Sinnaeve said. “In our third game the skills continued to improve and we got a lot of shots on goal, but they’re keeper was just really good. She’s been their keeper for three years now.
“I have a lot of kids who are just learning the game. I’ve got about six kids who have never been on a soccer field until probably this weekend. They’re still trying to figure out what they have to do. It was a good experience for me to see how everybody reacted and how they played. It gives me things to work on.”
Sinnaeve figures the Lady Bucks should be in a lot better shape in three or four games as everyone begins to grasp and understand the game.
Maleah Wooten scored both goals for the Lady Bucks, the first one on a nice cross and assist from Sydney Blanchard against Suttons Bay. On her second one she dribbled past a defender and blasted a shot past the keeper.
“Our keeper and our defense did an outstanding job,” Sinneave said. “I was putting new people in there trying to figure out the best combination. It’s something we’re still working on. I got a better idea of who can play it (defense).
“I felt good with the progress made throughout the day. We just don’t have the experience. Our bench is very young. Their athletic and they’ve grown so much since the beginning of the year. Once things start clicking for them they’ll do really well.”
Young Lady Bucks finally get their feet wet
By Greg Gielczyk
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