The general consensus of coaches at the seventh annual Grayslake Central Spring Soccer Tournament was that it was good to be outside after a preseason that consisted of indoor practices followed by indoor practices followed by still more indoor practices.
Because of the lack of practice on the pitch, play on Monday wasn’t perfect, but in the cases of Grant and Grayslake Central, it still was at a pretty high level.
Grayslake beat Round Lake and Grant beat Waukegan by identical 6-0 scores. Round Lake beat Waukegan 2-1 in a shootout in the other game.
The four-team, round-robin tourney will conclude Tuesday — weather permitting, of course.
“I was happy the way the girls played today, especially in the first game,” said Round Lake coach Andres Orbe. “We have been stuck practicing inside and this was the first time the girls got out and were able to play.”
On the Waukegan side of the pitch, coach Rachel Brennan was glad her team got to play a pair of games.
“We are a young team looking to just gain experience with this tournament,” she said. “We just need to continue to take it one game at a time and keep improving on the season.
“We did a great job in the first game on the day with positioning on the field,” she added. “I think the girls are learning and we just need to continue to work to get better.”
The two happiest coaches were from Grant and Grayslake.
Grant’s Marissa Allan scored four times and had one helper, and teammate Jenna Pecorini had a goal and three assists.
“They are a great 1-2 punch for us,” Grant coach Michael Kennedy said. “They really worked together this afternoon and finished their opportunities.”
Kennedy has five freshmen on his team, so it will take a while for the entire unit to work as one.
“We need to make little changes, such as getting wider on the field and work on attacking the goal,” Kennedy said. “This is a great tournament for the girls to learn to play together.”
Equally pleased was Grayslake coach Bethany Russ, whose team got in a game last week and lost to Lakes 2-1.
“We played together as a team and played with confidence today and it showed on the scoreboard,” Russ said. “We are a young group and everyone is trying to figure out each others’ roles on the team.
“I thought,” she added, “that the girls did a nice job working hard today and attacking on the offensive end.”