David Pressgrove: What a difference a year makes

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In the final week of the girls soccer season last year, I wrote a column about the struggles of the team. The thesis wasn't so much about the team's record, but more about the team's poor attitude.

A year later, the team's record is similar, but from my spot on the sideline, the attitudes on the field have changed.

This proverbial light bulb came on for me while watching the girls Tuesday in a 4-0 loss to Battle Mountain.

The Huskies were physical, at one point sending a Bulldog player to the hospital, but there was no retaliation or unsportsmanlike conduct on Moffat's side.

In retrospect, last year, a Moffat County player was kicked out of one of the last games for losing her temper and fighting with an opponent.

What bothered me the most about last year's team was how derogatory they were to each other on the field.

I wrote, "There weren't a lot of bridesmaid-to-be kind of relationships on that team."

I can't attest to whether bridesmaid-to-be relationships were started this year, but the way the teammates support each other after games is telling.

In every loss I covered this year, the girls were still hugging and supporting each other after the game. There is still some yelling on the field, but nothing more or nothing worse than the other teams.

The most noteworthy part of this observation is that this year's team is nearly the same as last year. Only three starters graduated last year's.

Part of it is that they are another year more mature. Another part may be a different outlook from a new coaching staff, although I never thought that last year's staff was at fault for the attitudes.

Whatever it may be, I hope that Tuesday the girls will be rewarded with a win against Eagle Valley. If they can defeat the Devils, they will set the school record for wins in both the Western Slope League (3) and overall (4).

Girls soccer is only one of two sports that hasn't made it to the post season since I've worked at the Craig Daily Press. Next year, the team returns a core of its talent and could be playoff-bound.

If they can make the playoffs, it will be one of the better stories I've covered in MCHS sports.

Nothing has been easy for this team.

One of their best players moved to Steamboat Springs last year.

They've had five head coaches in as many years.

They haven't had the opportunities to put in time together in the off-season like the other MCHS sports.

Even if they don't make the playoffs, the story is that they've learned what it means to be a team.

So to everyone involved with girls soccer this year, nice job.

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