A few, simple mental slips put you into a deep hole during any soccer game. John Milledge Academy girls soccer controlled several halves of possession, but fell to Trinity Tuesday 2-1 and at home 5-0 to Bulloch Thursday afternoon.
Senior Jess Qualls was the lone scorer against Trinity. Qualls executed a spectacular, bending corner kick that slipped past the opposing keeper. JMA head coach Hal Haynes said the Trojans could not take advantage scoring runs.
“We controlled most of the game but made mistakes, and they scored on us. We probably had possession over 60 minutes of the game and could not score,” Haynes said.
Facing the Bulloch Gators at home turned out to be the same story. Early in the first half, Ansley Prosperi threatened with numerous runs towards the box, but left empty handed.
The Gators drew first blood at the 29:43 mark, when the midfield defense allowed a player to get behind the line.
JMA continued numerous scoring pushes with junior Mollie Ritchie and Qualls though nothing came out offensively. Shots on goal failed to catch the keeper out of position.
Haynes said some of his players needed to help out the attacking teammate instead of sitting back and expecting something good to happen.
“Everyone is basically depending on someone else to score, as opposed to coming from a complete team effort. Everybody has to attack,” Haynes said. “It can’t be just one person because they all have to be there. We made the keeper look good because we put the ball right in her hands.”
The Trojans fell into halftime down 2-0, with the home crowd hopeful for a comeback.
Bulloch came out firing in the final half scoring seven minutes in off a mid-field strike. The Gator’s top player hurt JMA on that play and at other key moments in the contest.
Haynes felt she was faster but not more skilled than his players. The Trojan girls just got out positioned and failed to mark her properly.
“Our players had to be between her and the goal. She can’t be able to turn and receive the ball. When she made a step, most of the time we couldn’t catch back up. You get burned that way,” Haynes said.
Bulloch pounded in three goals in the final half of action, while shutting out JMA. The reserves got in the last 10 minutes, but the home standing Trojans had no fire left.
Freshman Hannah Miller fought, but her inexperience showed in her first start tending goal. Haynes applauded Miller’s desire to compete in a region battle.
“I commend her on her willingness and effort. It’s not as easy a position to play as people think it is,” Haynes said. “At the same time, the ball went by ten others before it got to her.”
Now, JMA is 4-5 overall, 0-4 in region as they head into spring break. The Trojans practice all three days to start next week. Haynes hopes a return to fundamentals and hard work will curb these recent struggles.
JMA girls soccer doesn’t play again until an April 10 home match against Trinity.