Last season was a tough one for anyone involved in the Augusta soccer program, as the Orioles finished 3-13. This year, the team will get all 11 starters back as well as the addition of some new faces.
The Orioles opened their season with a disappoint 3-0 loss to Berean Academy at home on Tuesday night, but head coach Dusty Buell believes that the Orioles will benefit from the lessons learned in the season-opener.
“The game last night told us a lot about the team we put on the field… I think what we learned about ourselves far outweighs a loss,” said Buell.
“From the beginning, Berean was the aggressor and initiated the physicality on all three levels of the field. That was no more present than on their defending third of the field where the Berean defense stood head and shoulders over our offensive counterparts.”
Augusta really only had one legitimate scoring opportunity, when Payton Ball's break away run was saved by Berean's goalkeeper, on a shot that was directed right at him from close range.
The Orioles gave up their first goal just seven minutes into the match.
“When you allow a goal that early, it changes the entire mindset of the team, from a team that is motivated by winning, to a team that is desperate to bring the score back to even,” explained Buell.
The Orioles went into the half trailing 2-0, and Berean put the nail in the coffin in the second half with their third goal.
“It's a difficult way to start the season, but I think it is a wake up call to all of our players,” said Buell.
“We know what we need to work on. Tactically there is some opportunity to make some changes in how we play, and I think you are going to see a new team come Thursday in El Dorado.”
The Orioles will look to bounce back and win their first match of the season against El Dorado on Thursday, August 30.