FarmingtonMay 15, 2012
Eight shutouts in 10 wins have fueled Raiders attack
By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer
Tim Russell knew something had to change.
His team was playing well, but at times, breakdowns were leading to losses and frustration on the ride home.
“We started out a little rough,” he said of the season’s first few games. “But we’ve really turned things around.”
That would be somewhat of an understatement for the North Farmington soccer coach and what his girls have done so far.
Despite the “rough” start, the Raiders had compiled a 10-4-2 record at press time, and there’s little secret to the success.
“Defense and goaltending,” Russell said bluntly.
In the seven games leading up to press time, North Farmington had won six by way of shutout. In the 10 wins and two ties recorded so far, eight came with the opposing team held scoreless.
“The main thing that changed is the fact we’re backing each other up now,” senior defender Mandy Lumley said. “I think at the start of the year, there was always one girl doing her job and the rest just kind of watching. Now, it’s like we’re all on the same page.”
While the defense has been stellar, allowing roughly a goal per game, the offense has started to find itself, bumping it’s goal-per-game average to 2.5.
“The defense is feeding the offense right now,” Russell said. “We’re playing the entire field, using the defense to fuel the offense. That’s something you spend most years trying to teach and hope to accomplish. This year, we’re doing it.”
“Playing as a whole team,” senior midfielder Sami Roumayah explained. “The defense doesn’t just clear the ball to clear it anymore. They’re setting us up and putting the offense in a spot to attack.”
Roumayah was quick to credit the goaltending as well, calling it, “awesome.”
And when junior keeper Katie Foss and senior Ashley Jakiel have been tested, more often then not, the ball is headed the other way.
“This is a very strong team,” Lumley said when asked about the rest of the season. She spoke while having a team dinner celebrating the city championship after wins against Farmington High and Farmington Hills Harrison. “We’ve shut down some very good teams. … I see us winning districts. We believe we’re capable of that.”