Hawks' young soccer squad looking for improvement

Hawks' young soccer squad looking for improvement

LA GRANGE — The North Lenoir girls’ soccer team is looking to improve one game at a time.

The Hawks haven’t had a lot of success in recent years, but won six contests in the 2018 campaign — the team’s highest total in more than a decade. Unfortunately, North Lenoir lost a lot of firepower from last year due to graduation and the team is winless through three games this season.

“We had 11 seniors on that team, seven of them starting,” Hawks coach Anthony Kennedy said. “We knew it was going to be a rebuilding year and we’ve got a young team with many of them playing for the first time. We’ve seen improvement game by game and hopefully they continue to get comfortable playing.”

The Hawks fell to Southern Wayne and Goldsboro by a combined 13-0 margin in the first two games, but played a stronger game against Princeton Wednesday. North Lenoir benefited from an own goal before Griselda Perez scored in the 35th minute to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. However, the Bulldogs countered twice before the half ended and kept the momentum in a 6-2 win.

Perez, a sophomore playing her first year with the Hawks, said she’s excited about the future and thankful for her opportunity.

“I’ve always wanted to play for the team and I’m excited to do it this year,” Perez said. “I’ve been going to all of the practices and it felt great to score my first goal (Wednesday). I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication, but I think we can get some wins.”

Melanie Gallardo is one of the few veterans on the North Lenoir roster, and the junior goalkeeper said there’s great potential on the roster.

“There’s been a lot of improvement over the first three games, especially this one,” Gallardo said. “We’re using these games to help us get ready (for conference play) and hopefully we can win.”

The Hawks play Southern Wayne at home Friday and Goldsboro Mondaybefore starting Eastern Carolina 2A Conference play the following night against West Craven.

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