Roller coaster season ends with loss to Lee and win over Warner Southern
By Michael O’Donnell
The Lady Saints finished their roller coaster season, going 1-1 in their final two games. After losing to Lee University 6-0, they came back to win an emotionally-charged final game, beating former Florida Sun Conference rival Warner Southern, 3-2.
The Lady Saints headed into the final two games in an uphill battle as they faced the NAIA number six Lee University Flames, on Oct. 21, at Flagler Field.
The ladies stayed in the match for a total of 15 minutes with only one shot on goal, which came in the first half off the foot of freshman forward Tiffany Urquhart.
The final game of the season was different as the Lady Saints took on Warner Southern, at home, Oct. 26. They honored team captain and senior mid-fielder Elizabeth Poore before the game.
“I cannot say enough about how much she brought to the team,” junior defender Jessica Echterling said. “She is a great leader and a lot of fun to have around.”
“She has the ability to change a game,” sophomore defender Lauren Groves said. “When she steps on the field, everyone steps up their game and wants to play like her—we are really going to miss that.”
Sophomore defender Elizabeth Glasgow scored her second and third goals of the season, and freshman forward Tiffany Urquhart scored her sixth goal of the season, leading the Saints to a 3-2 victory to end the season.
As the team looks to next year, Coach Teddy Meyer has named Groves as captain.
Groves graduated from Nease High School in St. Augustine. She is a four-year letter winner and two-time All-County selection. She received the team’s Leadership Award as a junior and senior.
“I am honored that the team wants me to be their captain,” Groves said. “I get along with everyone and my teammates know that they can come to me with anything. I think my work rate and dedication on and off the field will set the tone and will help our team chemistry in the games that we need to win next season.”
At this point the Lady Saints will need chemistry and hard work in order to improve a team that gave up 2.99 goals per game, averaged 36 less shot attempts a game than their opponents and has a 0.76 shooting average.
“We need to concentrate on the little things we can control as opposed to the many things in soccer you can’t,” Groves said. “Individually we need to step up our play, but we played well as a team. We started to become dangerous more towards the end of the season and I think that will flow into next season.”
Although it is early, Meyer is beginning to build off this tough 3-13-1 season by trying to pinpoint the weaknesses in this year’s team to ensure a better season next year.
“There is a pool of about 30 to 40 girls that we are looking at — most of them from Florida,” Meyer said. “As the off-season progresses, we’ll weed the pool of recruits down. I am going to bring in goalkeepers for next season to add some competition in the field and we are going to bring in a goal scorer — some center mid-fielders and outside mid-fielders. Anyone we bring in, however, will increase our team speed. That is where we lack the most.”