CARY — Green Hope returned most of its stars from last year’s state championship team, making it easy to assume the team would hit the ground running in 2013. But sometimes, whether it’s expectations or just your offense, you’ve got to slow things down.
The Falcons found success in a slower pace on Saturday, in one of the season’s biggest games.
Facing the team it defeated in the 2012 state title game, Green Hope came away with a 12-7 victory against visiting Charlotte Catholic.
Some of the players’ faces were the same, but this game had a much different look – a new Falcons coach and a much more deliberate approach.
“It gets us time to calm down, get composure and then do what we need to do,” said senior Maggie Auslander, who benefitted greatly.
As a midfielder, Auslander is called on to cover the most ground for her team, but she rarely subs out.
The Falcons had lost its season-opener to East Chapel Hill, which later lost to Charlotte Catholic. Somewhere in the middle of the transitive property is evidence that Green Hope has improved upon its first performance.
“We just didn’t know each other that well. It was a lot of people’s first game back since last season,” said Green Hope goalie MaryCate Kapopoulos. “It was just a lot better today because we know each other better.”
The Falcons’ first goal came 12 seconds into the game, as Auslander won the draw and went straight for the net.
“We feel like we need to score a lot in the beginning, and it helped us out today,” Auslander said.
But then there were times when the Falcons held the ball for minutes a time Part of that dealt with five missing Green Hope players due to sickness or injury.
“Getting into a track meet was not going to work out for us today,” said coach Joe Nassif.
Charlotte Catholic cut the lead to 5-4 to start the second half, but Green Hope went on a 4-0 run.
Katherine Smith had two goals and an assist while Lilly Stanley had two goals. Kate Murphy had two goals and three assists and Quincy Smith added a goal.
Auslander had five goals.
Blake: 919-460-2606; On Twitter: @JMBpreps