PRC soccer takes part in weekend tournament

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The chilly weather over the weekend didn’t stop the boys and girls soccer teams from Pearl River Central High School as they took on D’Iberville and Harrison Central Saturday.

The girls team has struggled with injuries all season and that was the case once again when the team faced the Warriors and then the Red Rebels.

The first game of the day against D’Iberville was a challenge because the team was without three of its regular starters. Even without the usual players on the pitch, Head Coach Joe Weems said the Blue Devils were able to create some opportunities in the final third.

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“We had opportunities to score, we just didn’t make it happen. It was better than we thought it was going to be,” Weems said.

The game ended with a final score of 2-0 in favor of D’Iberville, while the Harrison Central match ended with PRC losing 3-0

The girls team lost another starter before the second match of the day against Harrison Central, but even while missing four starters Weem said his team held its own.

Searching for a first win of the season could affect a team’s overall morale, but Weems said the girls are experienced enough to understand the process required to get better.

“We encourage them in spite of the outcome because as coaches we don’t always look at outcome. We stress the process,” Weems said.

Although Weems couldn’t have planned for his team to have so many injuries, he said the girls squad is on schedule to be competitive once everyone is healthy and district play rolls around.

The boys team had an offensive explosion over the weekend scoring four goals against D’Iberville to start the day with a 4-3 win over the Warriors before then scoring three goals in a close 4-3 defeat to Harrison Central.

Putting the ball in the back of the net with frequency is a good sign for the Blue Devils, but Weems said there’s still work to be done defensively.

Weems said there were mental lapses during the two games, which allowed the Warriors and Red Rebels to get some goals of their own.

“Defensively, we weren’t good in sections, but I track that to fatigue. There’s lulls in our play at times,” Weems said.

In practice Weems has been stressing the importance of playing into space and taking shots outside the box for the boys squad.

Those lessons helped contribute to the offensive performances over the weekend. District play is coming up, with a game against Long Beach on Dec. 13 marking the starting point.

At such an important juncture in the season, Weems said both teams are getting to where they need to be and the boys team is outperforming expectations.

“I think the guys were pleasantly surprised at our potential playing early (in the season). I’m very proud of them because I think they’ve outplayed our expectations,” Weems said.

Both squads will take on the Bearcats on Dec. 13 with the girls’ match set to begin at 5:30 p.m. and the boys following at 7 p.m.