Lakeview hopes to handle its unfinished business
For a team that lost five seniors and the district final last year, the Lakeview Bulldogs girls’ soccer team is excited to finish what it didn’t last year.
Lakeview lost to Howland 3-0 in a Division II Austintown District final and hope to get back there again.
“You know we lost a good core of our starting team last year. We lost five great girls and that was quite a blow,” Lakeview coach Shawn Varley said. “We had to reinvent ourselves a bit because the girls we have now played a different style than those seniors did. We changed our formation and it worked out.”
The third-seeded Bulldogs are one step away from getting back to a district final. Lakeview faces seventh-seeded Cardinal Mooney tonight in at 7 p.m., at Lakeview High School in a D-II Austintown District semifinal.
Varley said after losing in the Division II Austintown District final last year he knew what needed to change to get back and advance.
This year, Lakeview won the All-American Conference, White Tier, going 11-2-3 during the regular season.
“I’m proud of the way this team played throughout the year,” Varley said. “It wasn’t perfect the entire way, but they kept improving throughout the year and that’s what matters.”
In its last game, it took Poland to double overtime and won the game in a shootout.
Varley said shootouts are the worst thing in soccer. He believes a game shouldn’t be determined by a shootout.
“Coaching high school soccer is a whole nother animal to tackle,” he said. “I have to make sure each year, and especially this year, that the girls trust each other on the field and that they all have a certain level of chemistry together. Most of these girls stay active with their clubs during the off-season and I have to re-adapt them to my style each year.”
Varley also said he hopes that he has taught them enough about the team game for it to continue to translate on the field.
“Mooney didn’t get to this point by accident and that’s noted,” Varley said. “We still take each game like it’s the last game of the year and this could be. Now, we just have to make sure that we play our game and stay ahead the entire time.”