Among all the new sports programs at Thunder Mountain High School, the girls soccer team's progress may be the most impressive.
After a 5-1 loss against the Ketchikan Kings Friday evening at Adair-Kennedy Field, the winless Falcons battled to a 2-0 loss against the same Ketchikan team, but the performance was without a doubt the team's best showing this season.
Co-coaches Moctar Diouf and Kris Coffee said they are pleased with how quickly the team is improving against solid competition, especially on defense.
"Yesterday we talked about playing both halves without allowing a goal after the 30-minute mark, and I think that's a big improvement that they capitalized on," Diouf said. "They were much more confident and more organized. I think we're starting to make the adjustments game by game."
Coffee added how critical defense is to the foundation of any team, and on Saturday, the Falcons played their best defensive game to date.
"The defense's confidence was up, and they knew they could play well," she said. "So much of soccer is in your head, and they went in with confidence."
On the other side of the ball, the Thunder Mountain offense is still a work in progress, but the team has begun to generate scoring opportunities. Both coaches said that's the first step to success offensively.
"We're talking about experience again. Some of them still stand and watch and are slow on reactions and shy because they don't know exactly what they need to do," Diouf said. "Some of the changes we've been making the last two games are showing.
"Working the ball up to get a shot is an accomplishment," Coffee said. "We didn't do that in the first game, so we see improvement every game."