ROTTERDAM — His team huddled in silence, perhaps a little stunned at the turn of events that had just transpired, Mohonasen girls’ soccer head coach Clint DeMyer kept his post-game message positive.
“You guys are going to get there,” DeMyer told his team. “I promise.”
Just minutes earlier, Schalmont had wrapped up a 2-1 comeback win against the Mighty Warriors. Mohonasen had led 1-0 at halftime and kept that lead deep into the second half before the Sabres struck twice in quick succession in the final 10 minutes.
As the Mighty Warriors left the field, though, to start preparing for its final week of the regular season, it did so with optimism about what is ahead of them. Friday’s loss was a tough one, but not a season-derailing one for a group that has already shown it can deal with obstacles thrown its way.
“Our attitudes have always been really good this year,” Mohonasen junior Liv Raucci said. “It’s just been about growth for us, and our attitudes have been good because we do continue to grow.”
Mohonasen won a share of the Section II Class A crown in 2016 and lost in the 2017 title game, but entered this season in semi-rebuilding mode. The program graduated stars such as Lexi Canavally and Milan Pfister, but also lost junior Alex Skoda for the season to a torn ACL.
“That was tough,” Mohonasen’s lone senior Hailey Dunsmore said of losing Skoda. “We knew we’d have to adjust on top and try out some different things.”
“But I challenged the girls that we still had a chance to be good again,” DeMyer said. “We just had to make up for all those goals.”
Relying on its overall depth, Mohonasen has found a way to do that. The Mighty Warriors are 9-3-0 on the season, their first in the Colonial Council after moving to the league from the Class AA-heavy Suburban Council that Mohonasen often struggled to produce regular season success.
“But the Colonial Council has some great soccer, too,” DeMyer said. “You can’t knock the ability of the teams here.”
“Everyone likes to win, but [the switch] just kind of pushes us to do even better,” Raucci said. “Regardless of Suburban Council, Colonial Council, whatever kind of council we’re in, we’re pushing ourselves no matter what.”
The Section II playoffs start next week, and Mohonasen figures again to be one of the top contenders in Class A despite all of its personnel losses from 2017.
“We’re motivated,” Dunsmore said. “We’ve worked our butts off to get to where we are.”
That is why one tough loss suffered in early October won’t hurt the Mighty Warriors. The biggest games of the season are still ahead of them.
“We’re constantly getting better,” Raucci said, “and we know that.”