August 16th, 2017

Hurt Jaguars hope to use loss as learning experience

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Hurt Jaguars hope to use loss as learning experience
Mercy soccer team is looking to find its groove despite being banged up / photo by Conor Revell

Mercy's soccer team is experiencing the pains of being banged up at the start of the season and with only six seniors, times may be tough at the start.

And Male’s Jenna Ray exploited some gaping holes as host Mercy lost 7-0 in their season opener Wednesday night.

Mercy center back Annie Mulvoy and full back Hannah Fulke, both starters, are out with injuries right now. Star midfielder Bailey Locke struggled to find room to generate any offense and found herself helping out the defense more than usual.

“Anytime you have to rotate in some younger players there are going to be some things that you haven’t gone through tactically,” Mercy head coach Lora Gralheer said. “Give a lot of credit to Male. They’re very smart off the ball. It’s a good learning experience and I talked about it with my team. The first game isn’t the only game. It’s up to us whether we learn from these types of games and move forward.”  

With two key defenders out, Ray found a lot of space and netted four goals against Mercy goalkeeper Mikayla Miller. Taylor Adams added two goals and Katie Erwin also recorded a goal.

“It’s a lot about us coming together as a team,” Locke said. “We have a lot of young players. We have to try and build a community and us seniors have to show the younger players the ropes and how high school soccer is played. I think after this first game that we’re definitely going to get better.”

Erwin also recorded two assists and Brianna Tilley and Torri Leach had one.

The Bulldogs (2-0) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first and then added another two goals in the second half.

“I think we learned a lot about the intensity of high school soccer,” Gralheer said. “Playing against a team like Male in the first game of the season is great because it’s an eye opening experience. We got to see what a top 25 team looks like. It’s difficult for a freshman and or sophomore because they’re not use to it. But it’s good to see it in action so now that you can readjust your standards and know what you need to give.”

Male goalkeeper Molly Nunn recorded the clean sheet against the Jaguars.

With it only being the start of the season, expect the Jaguars to get better as the season progress and injured players return to the field.

“Last year I played a lot more defense than what I will play this year,” Locke said. “The role doesn’t change. I just need to support my team.”

The Jaguars have won four straight Sixth Region titles and figure to be the favorite again this season with Bullitt East looming in the background. 


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