Struggling through a six-game winless streak, the Gainesville Lady Leopards soccer team had trouble scoring or battling through adversity.
Recently, the Lady Leopards have piled up three wins and a tie, including a 1-0 victory over Argyle on Friday, Feb. 1 at Leopard Stadium.
Sophomore center midfielder Trinity Kirk scored the Lady Leopards’ only goal of the game in the first half with an assist from freshman Evelyn Peralta.
Gainesville head coach Danny Franco said he was worried about how the team would show up against a stout Argyle team, but he also learned a lot about his team after the win.
“I didn’t know if we’d be up for the challenge and fight,” Franco said. “Since the last game of our tournament, our effort and our fight has been a lot better. I told them since our last game of the tournament that if they fight for every ball, sooner or later, it’s going to show and we haven’t lost in four games. Right now, the effort is a lot better and I just told them if you fight and work it’s going to show. In the end, it’s gonna pay off and that’s what happened tonight.”
Freshman goalkeeper Daniela Marin also posted a shutout in just her first game of her high-school career with two keepers injured.
Franco lauded her and the defense’s performance.
“She stepped up and Argyle really didn’t threaten us,” Franco said. “Our defense in the middle were keeping them at bay, but when they did challenge us, especially from far out, I was a little nervous at first. After a few minutes, I saw how sure Marin’s hands were and I wasn’t worried.”
Despite coming away with the win, Franco said there is still room for improvement for the offense.
“We had six or seven 1-on-1 opportunities with just the forward and the goalie, so it’s just important that the forwards have more composure and confidence,” Franco said. “We’ll keep working on it. We’ve been giving it away the last two weeks and I think hopefully getting in the right mindset like seeing the goal instead of looking down will pay off.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip