Tigers have plenty to be happy about after season-opener


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Holy Trinity's Kailey Dunne pushes the ball upfield during Wednesday night's season opener against MCC. Dunne earned praise from coach Joey Messina for her all-around play. The two teams tied 0-0.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

They may have walked away with a tie instead of a win, but there was a lot for the Holy Trinity girls soccer team to be happy about after Wednesday night’s season opener against Melbourne Central Catholic.

“I thought we played really well,” Tigers coach Joey Messina said following the 0-0 tie.

“They really had a good understanding of what to do when we attacked and defended and they executed it really well. I thought we deserved to win, honestly.”

After dropping their preseason games to West Shore and Edgewood, it was just the kind of performance the Tigers were looking for.

 “It was definitely better than the last ones, and I think we’ve definitely already improved in defending and attacking,” eighth-grader Lani Watt said.

Things should only continue to improve for the Tigers, especially now that they have their whole team together. With players coming in from other sports, Messina said Tuesday’s practice was the first all season where the full team was able to participate.

“We had two preseason games where we lost 2-0 to West Shore and 2-0 to Edgewood,” senior goalkeeper Payton Yates said. “This game, defensively … we put a lot more pressure on the other team.

“We didn’t back down. It was really dynamic. It was a really good change to see everyone getting back into it tonight and to see us follow through on what we do in training, and us really meshing and gelling.

“It’s really exciting to start that now, in the first game of the season.”

Messina was especially happy with the way senior Kaley Dunne was able to only help initiate the Tigers’ attack, but also for how hard she fought to get the ball back when the Tigers surrendered position.

The Holy Trinity coach was also happy with the play of Averie Schweitzer, Allie Chamberland, Emerson Euziere, Yates, Watt, Julia McCarthy, Amelia Anello, Kendall Harrison, Bianca Fontanin, Braelyn Wahy, Aislin Scully, Julia McNatt and Skye Godfrey.

Now, if the Tigers can keep improving throughout the season, they may have another strong postseason run in them.

“The biggest difference (tonight) is that collectively everybody understands their role within what the team is trying to accomplish,” Messina said. “Everyone knew the plan. Everyone knew their job within the plan. And in every aspect – attacking, defending, transition – everyone did very well, I thought.”