With nine returning players and an appearance in last year’s state soccer tournament, North Pulaski Coach Kendra Sauheaver is hoping those two aspects can be beneficial for the Falcons in the second half of the season.
The Falcons own a 1-4 record right now but Sauheaver, in her second year, thinks with a strong second half showing they can still qualify for the state tournament. Last season, North Pulaski lost to Paragould in the first round, 2-1.
“I’ve come to the conclusion we are a second half team,” Sauheaver said. “In conference we can’t be that way. For instance, we lost to Sylvan Hills, 5-1, but the score was 0-0 at the half. Most of our goals are scored in the first half. We have to figure out how to convert what we do in the first half to the second half.”
With a new goalie, North Pulaski is enduring some growing pains. Senior Taylor Hodge took over the duties this season. Backup sophomore Rebecca Hart is being primed for next season. Even though nine players are back from last year’s squad, the Falcons have struggled with teamwork. They are getting better at ball control and are starting to direct the ball where it needs to go.
“We have lots of new players and are still trying to figure out the ins and outs,”Sauheaver said. “We are still figuring out what players go in the strategic places and putting the stronger players in different positions.”
Sauheaver did point out that Ilycia Carter and Lindsay Spell are playing really well and are strengths on defense. After competing in three matches last week, the Falcons are off this week and don’t have a match again until Monday when the host Pulaski Academy.