ORR girls soccer team prepares for 2019 season
After finishing last year’s regular season with a record of 16 wins to just two losses, and advancing to the second round of playoffs, coach Jeff Lombard will look to play to his “veteran team’s” strengths in the 2019 season.
This year’s varsity team consists of 14 returning players, and four new members advancing from the J.V. team.
Lombard said that the team’s key strengths last year were aggressiveness on offense, and quickness to return back to defense. On Tuesday, Sept. 3 Lombard led the team through drills to hone those same skills the day before their first game of the season against Seekonk High School. After sectioning off a portion of the field with cones, players quickly alternated from offense to defense, working to perfect their skills on both sides of the ball in preparation for a familiar opponent.
The ORR team has defeated Seekonk to win the South Coast Conference Championship for the past two years. “It’s going to be a good test to basically just find out what things we’re already good at, and what things we need to improve,” Lombard said of the first game of the season.
Last year the team was undefeated within the conference, losing only to Duxbury and Bishop Feehan, outside of the SCC, and eventually suffering a 1-0 playoff loss to Hopkinton. Despite this, Lombard still sees the conference being well balanced, with tough competition teams like Seekonk, and Apponequet, and improvements from last year made by Fairhaven, and Greater New Bedford Vocational .
To improve his team for the new season, Lombard said that he would like to see more variation in the team’s formations, and more active “off the ball” playing.
The first home game will be Friday, Sept. 6 at 3:45 p.m. against Fairhaven.