The Libby High School girls soccer team took a 10-1 loss to the Hamilton Lady Broncs last Saturday.Libby Head Coach Eric Kapan said senior Bella Hollingsworth was owed a lot of credit for what she did for her team, stepping in as goalkeeper for the tough game.
The Lady Loggers’ starting goalkeeper, sophomore Bethany Thomas, was not able to travel to the away game, as she had responsibilities as the Nordicfest Princess.
But only seconds into the game, sophomore goalkeeper Aspen Swartzenberger was taken out of the game.
“She got blasted in the face with a ball and ended up breaking her nose,” Kapan said.
It is the third head injury in recent weeks for the team, with players having to sit out while awaiting medical release to return to play.
Down four players and with recent changes in positions on the field, Libby went up against a team that was already going to be a challenge even with a full roster.
“Hamilton’s good,” Kapan said. “It was pretty ugly for us.”
Despite the constant onslaught and coming off at the half showing the wear, Hollingsworth insisted on going back in as keeper, Kapan said.
“So she deserves all the credit from everybody on the team, just for being willing to hold the line and stay there,” Kapan said.
While the Lady Loggers played a little “flat” against the Lady Broncs, it wasn’t something Kapan had to tell them, he said. They knew where their mistakes were and what they need to work on.
To their credit, they played hard and didn’t give up all the way to the end, he said.
But, no matter how hard they play the day of the game, the knowledge and skill a team brings to the field is all they have to work with, he said. The difference is made in those extra 15 minutes of practice and boring repetition that stocks their toolbox for gameday.
The advantage for the Lady Loggers at this point is that they have the potential to increase their skill level a lot more than the teams that have beat them, Kapan said.
“The hard part about learning a sport is the repetition of the beginning. You can only make that so fun,” he said. “Otherwise it’s monotonous repetition of the same thing over and over until it’s mastered, or almost mastered, and then you can start incorporating it into other things, and then it’s fun.”
“It’s hard to make the game fun when you’re getting killed 10-0, and you’re just chasing the ball all the time,” he said.
Regardless how the games go, both Kapan and assistant Coach Joe Martineau keep the players reminded that they care more about the players than the game, and that they want them to have fun, Kapan said.
The Lady Loggers will play next at Whitefish on Tuesday. They are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., after the boys team plays.