CLAWSON — It took to what amounted to be a small lake on the field April 11 to send the Clawson High girls soccer team indoors for practice.
While many teams in the area have taken refuge from the snow and otherwise uncomfortable weather, coach Thomas Pavlovich has had his squad outside, battling the elements as much as possible.
“The ball doesn’t bounce true in here, there’s not enough space, and the goalies can’t dive around. So I’ve been keeping everyone outside a lot,” Pavlovich said. “We’ve practiced outside in the snow, the hail and the rain. With the lake outside on the field, it’s impossible. It’s kind of been a nightmare piecing it together.”
The Trojans hope the hours spent in the rough weather is going to give them an advantage when the season kicks in full gear. At press time, they hadn’t played a game with two canceled thus far.
“It’s been tough running laps in the snow. It was kind of weird that no one else was outside,” senior Jessie Rendell said. “I think (it’ll give us an advantage) because the girls will be ready for different kinds of weather, different elements. Those are the kinds of things that can win or lose you a game. I think it’ll help us out.”
The Trojans return seven girls from last season and are aiming for their third straight Macomb Area Conference Gold Division title.
Pavlovich, in his first season with varsity after coaching JV last year, said he’s also added a handful of freshmen who he expects to make an immediate impact.
“The upperclassmen have been helping them out a lot, getting them in shape and competitive,” he said.
Freshmen Diana Davis is in net, Sam Sherman is on defense, Danielle Metevier plays midfield and Maria Smigels is at forward.
“They’re good, and they have talent. They fit in really well,” Rendell said of her new teammates.
Seniors Kayla Paquette (midfield), Taylor Wright (defense) and Rendell (defense) provide senior leadership.
Pavlovich said he expects his defense to be the strength of the squad. Overall, he said the key to another championship is playing with confidence.
“Last year, I noticed if things didn’t go immediately their way, they start to shut down. So that’s something I’ve been harping on. Make sure they play smart soccer — make sure they play their game, no matter who their opponents are,” he said. “That way, we’re always prepared.”