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Archive for Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Inexperienced Seahawks fall, 2-0

Seabury adjusts to full-size field too late; coach pleased with effort

April 18, 2007

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Seabury Academy goalie Arielle Spiridigliozzi is starting to find out why none of her teammates were interested in challenging her for the position during the preseason.

"It's really scary when you're running up towards them, and they're running straight at you, and you think they're going to stop, and they don't," she said.

In Seabury's second game of the season Tuesday against Center Place, Spiridigliozzi, playing in only her third game as a goalkeeper, had plenty of time to learn on the job.

Most of the game was played on Seabury's end - Seabury had only three shots on goal - and as a result, Center Place won, 2-0. But for a team that lost its first game 9-3, and has several players in its starting lineup who have never played soccer, a two-goal loss was not such a bad thing.

"This was a very good matchup to see where we were," Seabury coach Gunar Harmon said. "The teams were evenly matched. They had a little bit better speed. You can't really coach speed. We're a young team still trying to sort out where we're playing and what our responsibilities are. Overall, I was very pleased with the effort."

The Seahawks struggled early Tuesday to get any kind of attack going. It was the first time on a big field for many of Seabury's players. The team practices on a small field and played its first game at Kansas City Lutheran on a smaller field.

The Seabury players often crowed around the ball against Center Place because they were used to playing on a smaller field.

"It made it easier for them to move around when we would win the ball with numbers with three players against their one, but we'd have nowhere to pass to because we were blocking the traffic," Harmon said. "All our lanes were blocked with our own players."

Even without many offensive opportunities in the first half, the Seahawks trailed just 1-0.

"We really didn't get the most of the opportunities we had," Harmon said. "Our goalkeeper kept us in the game. She made quite a few quality saves."

Seabury took some of the pressure off Spiridigliozzi after Center Place scored a second goal four minutes into the second half. The Seahawks had better spacing in the second half, and the rest of the game was mostly played in the midfield.

That was a relief for Spiridigliozzi.

"I love playing goalie," she said. "It's just a lot of stress, because every time a point goes up you feel like, 'Oh man, that's my fault.'"

Spiridigliozzi's teammates said she's the right one for the job.

"I thought she played extremely well," Seabury captain Melissa Burch said. "I'm very proud of her. She thinks she didn't do as well, but I thought she did very well. She's a really good goalie for not having much experience in goal."

Seabury will try for its first victory at 4:30 Friday at home against Wichita Home School.

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