Preparing itself to enter the MEC slate, Maryville girls soccer looks to strengthen deficiencies and establish roles before defending its conference title won a year ago.
After dropping their first game of the season to the much larger Lynx of Abraham Lincoln High School, the Spoofhounds (2-1) will look to mend and correct the weaknesses that were exposed in their play style during the contest.
“A huge weakness for us currently is panic kicking,” junior forward Morgan Pettlon said. “Instead of thinking the play through before getting a touch on the ball, we tend to just kick it out of nervousness.”
With weaknesses come strengths and one that Maryville can rely on heavily is the ability to communicate well across all positions on the field. The level of chemistry, Pettlon said, is high.
“We have a ton of chemistry both on and off the field and are working very well together,” Pettlon said. “One of our strengths is most of our girls have been playing together since Twisters and have acquired a deeper level of communication on the field.”
As a junior, Pettlon has been working hard on her upperclassman role within the team. Alongside establishing long term goals for the team, Pettlon has created goals for herself.
“I want to make an impact by being a leader for the rest of the team,” Pettlon said. “My goal for the season is to grow my individual skills, but also to grow as a teammate.”
As the Spoofhounds get closer to diving into the MEC schedule, coach Dale Rueter believes his team could be something special and has found things within this roster that are unique.
“While I think each team is special in their own way, I like the balance of this team the best,” Reuter said. “I feel that at each level, whether it be attacking or defending, we have a good balance.”
Reuter has worked hard to bring out the best in his soccer teams, and this group is no exception. Whether it comes in position changes, mid-game substitutions or during drills amid practice, Reuter is totally bought-in when it comes to coaching soccer.
“He (Reuter) has helped push us and strengthen us day in and day out to become the best soccer players that we can be through conditioning and working on foot skills with the ball,” Pettlon said.
While there are many challenges to be faced during the course of the season, one seems to be standing taller than the rest of the pack, and it comes in a team that has ended the Spoofhounds season year after year: St. Pius X. The first matchup between the two schools takes place at St. Pius X April 23.
“St. Pius has ended our season time and time again, and we will need to overcome that to move on,” Reuter said. “I feel good about our chances, and we are just going to take one game at a time.”