It may be hard to imagine an unhappier team following a victory than No. 4-ranked Naperville Central.
From the players to the coach, Thursday’s 1-0 triumph over Plainfield South didn’t do much for the Redhawks (1-0-1), who battled No. 3 Morton to a 1-1 draw two days earlier.
“To be honest, I don’t think we improved in any respect,” senior defender Derek Kerbs said. “We certainly didn’t possess the ball as well and didn’t do the job offensively. We got the result on the scoreboard but this team can be and should be much better than this.”
Veteran coach Troy Adams was even harder on her program which finished third in the state last year after two runner-up finishes.
“This was a huge step backward,” Adams insisted. “It wasn’t necessarily on the field. We had players not meeting expectations off the field and we were out of sorts from the start and that hampered us mentally, which is a key component.
“We’ve had three good years, so we can be a feather on their cap win for any opponent and our guys have to rise up to that challenge every time. It’s no just one or two players, but we’ve got to figure out how to have 22 guys playing together.”
The flow of play never materialized for either side.
Jordi McCormack attempted Naperville Central’s first real shot on goal 10 minutes in, a long-range effort. Daniel Poole then fed McCormack for a 26-yard left-footed blast that sailed inside the right post seven minutes later.
“Seeing some space I checked to the middle and called for it, once Danny got me the ball I saw a defender and faked to the right to set it,” McCormack said.
“I prefer my left and it felt like a solid contact.”
Plainfield South (1-1) was hoping for a much better follow-up to its season-opening 4-1 road win over Lincoln-Way Central, but the Cougars had little rhythm.
“We came out way too slow and because they were using a lot of guys to pressure the attack, we struggled throughout the field,” Adam Burt said. “We also need to keep our emotions in check regardless of how intense the match gets.”
“Our nerves got the better of us in the first half when we were relying too much on the long ball to get by their speed and physicality,” said Plainfield South coach Dave Brown.
“There was a point in the second half we started to play two or three-touch soccer and used the field, but it was no where near enough.”Tags: Naperville Central, Plainfield South