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Lady Knights Look to Get Back on Track Against Trojans

Junior+Sam+Cary+tries+to+turn+past+the+defender+in+a+rivalry+match+with+Troy+on+3%2F30.
Junior Sam Cary tries to turn past the defender in a rivalry match with Troy on 3/30.

Junior Sam Cary tries to turn past the defender in a rivalry match with Troy on 3/30.

Photographer Riley Kampf

Photographer Riley Kampf

Junior Sam Cary tries to turn past the defender in a rivalry match with Troy on 3/30.

By Dominic Hoscher, FHNGameday.com Editor

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Just one week ago, the varsity girls soccer team completed an improbable upset against their rival Francis Howell Vikings in an exhilarating overtime win (read the story here). Since then, Howell North has dropped two straight games to Fort Zumwalt West and Fort Zumwalt East, losing both by scores of 1-0. Heading into tonight’s matchup with Troy, the Lady Knights recognize that they will have to improve up front if they want to get back on track.

“We’ve built up the field really well, but I just feel like we can never finish to get the actual goal,” junior midfielder Abbie Miller said. “We have definitely improved, but we just need to work on finishing the final touch.”

Howell North enters Tuesday night’s clash with the Trojans at a record of 3-5-1, while Troy is a steady 6-7 on the year. With it being an inner-divisional contest, both teams play with a bit of an edge each time they step out onto the field. This year’s first duel between the Lady Knights and Trojans is no different.

“There’s something in the back of our heads that makes us try a little bit harder just because we do have that kind of rivalry and they’re always a pretty good team and they always give us a bit of a challenge,” senior goalkeeper Caty Arnold said.

One of the biggest challenges that Arnold will be forced to deal with in goal is Troy’s dynamic attack. The Trojans have scored 18 goals as a team so far this season, with junior forward Morgan Bova leading the way with six goals and then senior Krystal Kohenskey with four, who also leads the team in assists with six. In order to slow attackers such as Bova and Kohenskey down, head coach of the varsity girls team Mark Olwig has put an emphasis on playing possession-based soccer.

“One of the best things that we can do is keep the ball,” Olwig said. “The more we play offense, the less opportunities they have to attack. That’s one of the things we’ve been really trying to work on this year is if we’re in possession and we’re attacking, that’s going to be our best defense.”

If the Lady Knights can put together long and efficient possessions, they can place more pressure on the Trojans’ largest hole: their defense. Troy has conceded the most goals in the GAC South, allowing 26 in a total of 13 games to start the season. It’s the perfect get-right matchup for a Howell North team that has struggled offensively, and a big performance in front of goal tonight can help them turn the corner on the attacking end of the field.

For Howell North to win tonight and put an end to their losing streak, the varsity team will have to execute where they’re strong (in the back) and breakout up front in a plus-matchup. To go along with this, the players believe that they also have to go into the game with a desire to win that they’ve had against other rivals in the past.

“We need to come out with the same intensity that we came out playing against Howell with,” Arnold said. “Come out with that really overpowering want to win and drive to go towards the net and put it in the goal.”

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Lady Knights Look to Get Back on Track Against Trojans