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Lady Cougars lose in opening conference play

By Stephen Henderson
The Patrick County High School Lady Cougar soccer team lost in the opening round of Conference 32 play last Monday night, 12-0, against Cave Spring.
According to Coach Sandra Rakes, this year was a learning/building year for the Lady Cougars. A new coach (Rakes had taken a year off from coaching last season), new formations and many new faces confronted the soccer team.
“The number of players coming out this year was low. We had six seniors, seven juniors and two sophomores,” she said. “Of the seniors, five were returning varsity players. Only one of the juniors was a returning varsity player, the other six were pulled up from junior varsity, making this year somewhat of a building year for us,” Rakes explained.
“The players had to get used to a new formation and learn how to play with each other as a team. They had to learn each other’s strengths and to work with those strengths,” she added.
The Lady Cougars were competitive in district play, but conference competition happened to be one of the best in the state.
“The scores of the games did not always reflect how we had played. We faced some tough teams in our conference but the girls always accepted the challenge and never gave up,” Rakes said.
Rakes is proud of the win over Martinsville, a very physical game that ended in a 1-0 win for PC.
“Our first game against Martinsville was a turning point for us. It was a very hard fought game, and it demanded that our girls give everything they had individually as well as a team to pull off our 1-0 win,” Rakes said. “Our final game of the regular season was a big win for us. Not only was it the night we recognized our seniors, it gave them a victory for their last home game,” she said.
“I have to say that I am proud of the entire team and all the hard work they put into the season. I am looking forward to next year,” she said.

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