CLAYTON – The Greenville girls soccer team is excited about the upcoming season, and that excitement only grew as the Lady Wave had their best performance in years in a scrimmage against St. Marys Saturday morning.
“We played the best we have since I’ve been here,” said coach Steve Shepard, whose team played St. Marys to a scoreless tie. “We talked. We communicated. We passed. We didn’t press up top as quick as I wanted, but we have a lot of young players. This is their first experience in it.”
The game against St. Marys was the first of four this past weekend in the Northmont Good Samaritan Soccer Classic. The Lady Wave also had games against Marysville, Milton-Union and Graham.
A week earlier Greenville played in the Troy Soccer Summer Preview with games against Troy, Bellefontaine, Lebanon and Milford. That weekend didn’t go very well for the Lady Wave, Shepard said, but they rebounded to have a great weekend in Clayton even though three starters were missing because of injuries or other commitments.
“I’m just real tickled with the girls,” Shepard said. “We had a really rough weekend last weekend. We were without really three of our starting seniors today in this game, and I was really nervous about how it would go, but they played phenomenal.”
The Lady Wave have been working hard throughout the offseason and still have an alumni game on Aug. 8 and scrimmages against Coldwater and National Trail before beginning the regular season on Aug. 27 at Indian Lake.
“We’ve been lifting weights on and off since January,” Shepard said. “They’ve been out conditioning since about the middle of June. I think it’s starting to pay off. We looked like I said a little rough last weekend, but today we were composed. It looked like we were just in shape and able play a full 80-minute game. It was nice to see, even as hot as it is.”
Greenville finished the 2014 season 0-16-1 but is confident that a more experienced roster and hard work in the offseason will pay off when the Wave take the field in just over a month.
“I think everybody is really looking forward to this year,” Shepard said. “Got a big senior class, probably the most experience we’ve had in three years here so we’re all excited. We’ve got a little bit better schedule, more to our level this year. Everybody is getting ramped up.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.