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Prep soccer: At the starting point

New Grizzlies squad settles for a tie

Posted: November 30, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 30, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Golden Valley's Courtney Ravenell (8) advances the ball as Lancaster's Natalie Mitchell defends on Thursday at Golden Valley High.

 

Still adapting to a new head coach, the Golden Valley girls soccer team returned to basics on Thursday afternoon at Golden Valley High School.

Just two weeks into new coach Adam Yassaman’s regime, the Grizzlies peppered the offensive zone and relied on stout defense from its back four to draw with Lancaster, 0-0.

Colleen Fleming anchored the offensive attack from the midfield as Golden Valley tried to feed forward Courtney Ravenell repeatedly throughout the game.

The Grizzlies (0-1-1) often favored sending the ball over the top into the attacking zone over trying to hold possession, something Yassaman thinks will change as time goes on.

“We’re working toward getting more possession and playing a lot calmer,” Yassaman said. “We’re getting back to the fundamentals and wanted to put the ball into the offensive third.”

Fleming agreed: “We definitely need to work on keeping possession as a team,” she said. “But it’s early.”

Defensively, the Grizzlies ran a diamond defense that disrupted Lancaster (0-2) throughout.

Jordan Dulay and Gabby Lopez were stout up the middle, limiting Lancaster’s opportunities and helping goalkeeper Jordan Burrows earn the shutout.

“The most significant thing I found,” when taking over the program, Yassaman said, “was I’ve got a strong group of defensive players. We have a lot of girls we can use. I trust our defense.”

With both teams struggling to find their forwards on runs into the attacking zone, much of the action centered in the midfield, where Fleming was able to take over and push forward more and more as the game wore on.

“Colleen’s an exceptional player,” Yassaman said. “She’s great getting to the ball and she wins them and looks to attack. She’s going to be a big part (of Golden Valley).”

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