By Jace Frederick on Sep 2, 2014 at 1:33 p.m.
A botched penalty kick in the second half was all that separated New Life Academy from starting the season with a victory over Heritage Christian. That shot, however, rang off the crossbar and the Eagles had to settle for a 1-1 tie Aug. 28.
“We had a lot of good chances in the game,” first-year coach Blake Brackett said. “We just weren’t able to find the back of the net as many times as we would have liked.”
Brackett said he was pleased with the way his team came out to start the season. It generated numerous chances and was just a bounce away from taking the lead into the second half.
That wasn’t in the cards, though, and Heritage Christian actually scored the first goal of the game on a well-executed cross near the net.
“That seemed to light a fire under the girls,” Brackett said. “They really picked up the tempo and that was good to see from my standpoint. It showed we have a lot of fight in us.”
That fight translated to a game-tying goal 10 minutes later as Tori Rogness pounded home a cheeky feed from Kayla Binsfeld.
New Life Academy continued to turn up the pressure after the equalizer and a few minutes later earned the PK it would go on to miss. Brackett said it was back and forth after that missed opportunity as neither team threatened to score again.
“I saw a lot of good things in the first game of the season,” Brackett said, “and I know we will continue to grow as a team.”
Brackett also made it clear that this season is very much a work in progress. In his first season at the helm, there are still kinks that need to be worked out, something he knows will come with time.
“I have a way that I’d like them to play and it’s a little different than the way they’ve played in the past,” he said. “It’s just a matter of figuring it out. And I think once we figure it out we’ll be fine.”