JASPER — According to Suwannee High soccer coach Sarah Grillo, injuries have kept her team from getting into a rhythm this season.
But with a respectable record at 8-9-1, an impact goal-scorer in Carson Frier and a strong back line with goalkeeper Leigh Wood, the Bulldogs have winning expectations for the district tournament they host next week.
They built some momentum heading into the tournament with an 8-0 win at Hamilton County on Tuesday.
Frier scored five goals to help SHS win by mercy rule after 50 minutes of play.
“Concussions, ankle injuries and knee injuries have made finding a rhythm challenging,” said Grillo. “We’ve made some adjustments that have helped move in the right direction.
“Leigh has made significant strides to become a more confident keeper. Carson has continued leading our team. I’m excited for the playoffs. I’m excited to be hosting playoffs.”
Bethany Mabey scored twice, which included the game-ending goal that was assisted by Frier. Susie Gonzalez also had a goal for Suwannee.
Suwannee started the season with three straight wins, but hasn’t been able to maintain that hot start. Of their eight victories, the Class 4A Bulldogs have only won two games schools of equal size or bigger.
New playoff system
With the new playoff system this season, Suwannee is going to need to win the district tournament to keep its season going. That means getting past some tough teams at the top, including Wakulla (13-1), Rickards (10-2-1) and Santa Fe (10-7). In the regular season, Suwannee lost 3-1 against Wakulla and lost 4-0 against Santa Fe.
“We have had to move some players around. It takes some time to tweak. Finally feel like we have some players in positions that are better suited for the team to be successful.”
— SHS coach Sarah Grillo on injuries this season.