The 2019 Roseburg High School girls soccer team found out a few things after dropping a 2-0 nonconference decision to Crater on Thursday in the season opener at Finlay Field.
The Indians lacked continuity on the offensive end as they kicked off their second year under Kristin Parks.
“We didn’t play our game, for sure,” Parks said. “We were chasing the game the entire time. We didn’t connect passes, and that’s what we’ve been working on. We’ll get back to the drawing board and figure out what we need to do to get better.”
The contest was scoreless until the final 10 minutes. The Class 5A Comets got a goal from Allison Waters in the 70th minute and Montana Smith converted in the 74th minute.
Crater had seven shots on goal, while Roseburg had five.
“We chased a lot,” Roseburg goalkeeper Katie Knudson said. “Some of the girls weren’t prepared for the speed and toughness of how hard these girls play. Conditioning was a big part of it, and I think it took us by surprise.
“A little bit of both,” replied Knudson, when asked if she was more encouraged or discouraged. “I saw some amazing things that I’ve seen progress over the summer, but I also saw some things I know we’re capable of that weren’t displayed on the field today. As soon as we see those runs and make them, we’ll be very successful.”
The Tribe lost nine seniors off last year’s team that finished 3-10-1 overall and went winless in conference play. Among them were Callie Price, a first-team all-SWC selection, and Emily Wheeler, the conference’s goalkeeper of the year.
Roseburg has five seniors on this year’s team and three of them are returning starters — Knudson, McKenna Melvin and Kaitlyn Riley. Junior defender Ellie Ronk and sophomore forward Madasyn Van Acker also started last year.
Allycia Peterson and Taylor Hunt are the other seniors.
“We lost a lot of size, but gained speed,” Parks said. “We’re significantly faster this year, but it’s about learning to conserve your energy. We were playing a running game more than a passing game today, and had a lot of girls who played 80 minutes. We only have 16 varsity players and that’s not a lot of subs, so that hurts.
“They want to compete, the desire is there. They’re not down on themselves; they’re disappointed, but they have that competitive edge.”
The Indians suffered a bad break in the opener. Knudson, a talented goalie playing the position for the first time in high school, sustained a broken thumb on her right hand in the first half and had to play the second half in the field.
Freshman Amy Carpenter was the goalkeeper in the second half.
“That’s disappointing for Katie,” Parks said. “Losing your keeper and captain — one of the leaders on the team — that kind of shakes you mentally. Amy made some great saves and has a bright future.”
Knudson received honorable mention all-conference as a defender last year.
“It’s been about eight years (since I’ve been a goalkeeper),” Knudson said before learning her thumb was broken. “I’m nervous, but excited at the same time. Saving a goal is almost as pleasurable as making a goal. If I can know I’m saving a goal for my team and coaches, it feels amazing.”
The Indians resume nonconference play Tuesday at Eagle Point. Roseburg’s first conference match is at South Eugene on Sept. 21.