MUKILTEO — Arlington girls soccer manager Nathan Davis sees the same potential in this year’s team as he saw in his 2009 squad.
It was at the halfway point of last season that the Eagles won five of their final seven matches to come within just a point of the final district playoff spot.
“You just have to focus on improving every day and eventually you’ll be there,” Davis said.
But there will be learning experiences along the way, such as Arlington’s 5-0 loss to Kamiak Sept. 30.
While the final result suggests a lopsided match, the Knights scored three goals in the second half and the first two came from untimely ricochets in the first half.
“I thought we played a pretty good first half,” said Arlington coach Nathan Davis. “We gave up a couple of unlucky goals but were focused and maintaining possession.”
Kamiak’s Lauren Luke did most of the damage, as she had a hand in three goals, scoring two to help the Knights stay undefeated.
“They were a really good team and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy facing them,” said Davis.
He did, however, find some spotlights in the match, and evidence that a comeback in the second half of the season is possible.
“I thought Dana Canaria put a lot of pressure on their defense and had a few opportunities for us,” he said. “And Sadie Hitsky had a good game as well.”
Davis also said the play of Kristin Reed is much improved over the beginning of the season.
Senior leadership is the key, according to Davis, to making a run in the second half because they can help the younger players improve and realize how small the gap in ability has become.
“What really sparked us last year was we sat down after the first half of the season was over and I showed them that we only really got beat badly once,” Davis said. “We were right in a lot of those games and that kind of resonated with them.
“It can happen again, but we just have to find the right pieces and get everybody comfortable,” he said.