CORNER BROOK Make no mistake — the first six games of the Under-16 girls provincial soccer league season have been rough for Team Western.
They’ve played four games against St. John’s and two versus Mount Pearl, losing all six and being outscored 35-3 in the process.
The good news is, this weekend brings another opportunity to right the ship, beginning tonight against Conception Bay South at Topsail Field. The girls will play CBS again on Saturday, before buckling down for another game against the powerful St. John’s squad on Sunday at King George V Pitch.
Just keeping it close against St. John’s might be considered a victory in itself, but the girls believe they have a real shot at taking down CBS twice.
“They’re kind of like us,” said Western’s Frankie Warren. “They have heart like us, but they’re not, like, provincial players ... I think they’ll be tough, but I think we can beat them.”
CBS has had similar woes against the two powerhouse teams, going 0-5-0 so far, scoring only three times and giving up 28 goals. It’s early in the season, but it’s almost like the four-team league is really a two-horse race.
St. John’s are 8-0-1, while Mount Pearl is 4-1-1.
Regardless, Warren believes the two big guns can be beaten.
“I feel like we have way more heart than they have,” she said. “When we go out there, they think ‘We got this, it’s no big deal,’ but I think we push way harder than they do.
“When I scored on their (St. John’s) goalie (in a 4-1 loss last weekend), she was really surprised,” she added. “I think if we keep pushing hard, we could definitely beat them.”
The daughter of Todd Warren and Shelley Drover of Corner Brook, Warren plays centre midfield for Western. The 16-year-old is a talented player and a vocal leader on the team.
She says the club is improving with every game, especially since they get to play regularly in the city’s senior women’s league.
“Our finish is getting so much better,” she said after a 5-2 win over a senior women’s team on Wednesday night. “These games against the women aren’t as hard for us as they were at first and it really helps us going into our provincial games.”
It also allows them to work on things, such as play more of a possession game, which Warren thinks is of vital importance if they’re going to see success against St. John’s on Sunday.
“I feel like we give it away too much,” she said. “And when we give it away, St. John’s and Mount Pearl know exactly what to do with it.”
Despite being on the wrong end of the scoreboard during the first six matches of the season, there are no signs of a team in turmoil. The positivity is palpable and Warren said everyone is on the same page.
“I think we have a very good chance against CBS,” she said. “Every single person on our team thinks that.”
Western visits CBS 8 p.m. tonight and 10 a.m. on Saturday, before locking horns with St. John’s 12 noon on Sunday.