Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

August 17, 2013

Howard Co. girls soccer preview

Kokomo, Northwestern, Eastern feature new coaches

(Continued)

“In our practices we’ve seen [veteran leadership] and have seen some improvement overall. This group has done well to retain [skill and knowledge] so I’m hoping to build upon that.”

Last season the Titans took a hit when Lauren Shively went down with an injury during the season, forcing a re-shuffle of the lineup.

“I’m ecstatic she’s back with us,” Piotrowicz said of the senior midfielder. “She shows good leadership and being able to kind of be that field captain for us. With her being on the field, that should help us reorganize and kind of press on from where we were a year ago with our group — literally because most of them are the same girls.”

Other key players the Titans will rely on this season are senior midfielder Maria Owens, senior fullback/midfielder Faith Marley, sophomore midfielder Savannah Delgado (four goals last season), junior defensive midfielder/fullback McKenna Deckard, and senior midfielder Karla Winburn. Winburn and Owens are three-year starters, while Shively is a four-year mainstay.

The team’s experience is bunched in midfield to help with Piotrowicz’s main goal — improving possession and time of possession.

“I can’t stress how much that they have the desire to get better as a team and on their own,” Piotrowicz said. “Sometimes as a coach I like to rant and rave a little bit at them and get in their faces. I have not had to do that for over a year now and that speaks to the caliber of girls that are there.

“I’m hoping that’ll translate into some wins for us because they are doing their best to learn and pay attention and be better soccer players.”

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