Picayune soccer looking to find finishing touch

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 8, 2019

The Picayune Maroon Tide girls soccer team started its season on Oct. 26 with a tournament that included a number of other squads.

Picayune faced Richland and Laurel, losing both games by only one goal each.

On Nov. 5 the squad took on the St. Patrick Fighting Irish for its third game of the season.

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The Maroon Tide lost 2-0, but Head Coach Ed Williams said he thought his team played the better game.

Capitalizing on scoring opportunities has been the issue for the team, so Williams said it’s something the players will need to improve upon as the season progresses.

“That’s been our Achilles heel… finishing. We’re young, so we make a few mistakes, but defensively we played pretty solid,” Williams said.

Finding the balance between offense and defense in a non-stop game like soccer is difficult.

It’s exacerbated by the fact that Williams has had to play some athletes out of position to deal with injuries and players not being available.

“It’s a learning process and we’ve had to make some adjustments. I had to rotate some people and play them in places they’re not comfortable playing,” Williams said.

While the team may still be looking for its first win, Williams said his players have played with a grit and determination he hasn’t seen in previous years.

The athletes are learning how to fight through adversity and still perform, which is something Williams has enjoyed seeing.

“I’ve really appreciated their determination. Learning how to win is learning how to play through adversity,” Williams said.

Williams said his team has shown great character already this season as they’ve dealt with the early season obstacles.

He hopes his players maintain the same mindset as the season progresses, no matter the team’s record. “I’m pleased with how we are as a team and we’re still learning how to get better. The danger is when you take a few losses, but this team has a good spirit and I think that’s the strength of this team,” Williams said.

Picayune will play Bay High on Nov. 7 and then have a five-day break before playing Purvis on Nov. 12.

Before the Bay High game Williams wants his players to work on playing as a unit.

Once the balls start finding the back of the net Williams said he thinks his team will be pretty special this year. “I just want us to play a whole game, no mental lapses, go start to finish with a complete game. Connect the lines, play through the midfield and find the attacking third,” Williams said.