Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coach: Unbeaten team still can improve

The Lake Norman girls’ soccer team is undefeated, No. 2 in the state, has given up only two goals all season, and just beat archrival Mooresville. But still Wildcats’ head coach Jon Mertes is not happy with his team’s play.

“We have not played up to the level that I expect,” Mertes said, who also plays in the Fort Mill tournament this weekend against Fort Mill and Lexington, No. 5 and 6 in the state in South Carolina. “We have done what we need to do to win, but that isn’t enough. We won’t get where we want to be, playing like this.”

The Wildcats (5-0) came back from a goal down to beat Mooresville 2-1 Wednesday night (March 18) with Sarah Tang and Kaitlyn Ferguson scoring for Lake Norman. But Mertes pulled nine starters out in the first half to send the message that he was not happy with their intensity or approach to the game.

“I think a lot of the way we are playing is mental,” Mertes said, whose team has outscored their opponents 26-2 this season. “I have challenged the girls (to step up) and I think we will get to see just how they respond and how good we really are really soon. Right now, I think that is what we need.”

The Blue Devils (3-2), No. 5 in the state, lost their second contest in as many games after falling to No. 6 Northwest Cabarrus Monday (March 16).