WarrenMay 14, 2012
Cousino girls soccer connects for success as season continues
By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer
WARREN — The drops of intermittent rain can’t disrupt the Cousino girls soccer team.
The Patriots have plenty of work to do at practice as the final stretch of the season comes into view.
And it’s the part of the game that has been the key to their success all season that the Patriots are practicing during the precipitation — passing and possession.
“We’re a possession team,” coach Anthony Sorrentino said. “When we slow down and possess, that’s when our team is at its best. When we start to play into other team’s games, when it’s kick and chase, we don’t play well. That’s not what we’re suited for. That’s not what we practice for.”
Senior Jessica Behnke said the squad has improved in that area greatly recently.
“We’re doing really good with our passing lately,” she said. “We’ve been working on it a lot at practice. We really try to play as a team and link passes together, so each goal is really a contribution from the whole team.”
Sophomore Emily Bondy highlighted just how important keeping possession and linking passes together is for the Patriots.
“If you can’t connect passes, you’re not going to win a game,” she said. “Because you have to make passes to get to the net.”
The team got off to a slow start, as it had to replace some key members from last year’s squad and integrate the newcomers into the passing scheme. But as the team’s passes find their way, so do the Patriots, who were 6-4-4 overall and 4-1-4 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division at press time.
“We started off very, very slow,” Sorrentino said. “I think with having so many new faces this year, it took a while to get some chemistry going. Our chemistry has gotten 10 times better. Practice in the last two, three weeks has been a lot better than it has in the past. I think that’s been a big key.”
Junior Nicole Probst said the squad just had to jell.
“We’re still trying to get them used to how we play soccer,” she said.
As the team comes together, Sorrentino wants to see it step forward together as one unit.
“I don’t want to see us taking steps backwards,” the coach said. “I don’t want to see mistakes that we’ve already corrected start happening again. I want to see us get better every single game, every single practice, every single day.”
To do so, senior Blaire Schmalenberg said the squad has to play with heart and focus for the whole game.
“Everyone gets it now, but toward the beginning of the season, they didn’t understand that every possession counts. We’ve made a lot of improvement.”
Catch the Patriots in action at 4 p.m. May 16 at rival Sterling Heights High before they return home for a 7 p.m. May 21 contest against Utica Ford II.
Helping the homeless
In the midst of their busy season, the Cousino girls soccer team found some time to step away from soccer and step up for those less fortunate. The Patriots recently cooked and served dinner to 50 homeless people at Grace Episcopal Church in Mount Clemens. The team had a bottle drive and raised more than $300 to fund the meal. This is the third year the team has participated in this charity program.