Dakota girls soccer coach looking for balanced attack
April 9, 2014
MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Dakota girls soccer coach Stefano Moraccini said through four games, his team is playing solid soccer.
“We’re playing well. We didn’t show it so much the last time out (a 4-1 loss to Anchor Bay April 2), but so far, the girls look really good,” Moraccini said.
The Cougars at press time had a mark of 2-1-1, 0-1-1 Macomb Area Conference White Division. Dakota is looking to improve on its 6-12-2 mark in 2013.
Moraccini said he does not want to depend on one unit to lead the team. He said it’s important that every player on the Cougars’ 19-player roster give 100 percent each time out.
“We’re going to lean on everybody,” Moraccini said. “When we’re on defense, everybody has to play defense. When we’re on offense, everybody has to play offense. I’m looking for the entire team to play as one unit. Outside of (the April 2 Anchor Bay game), we’ve been doing that. We’re going to need to keep that up.”
Moraccini said his team has done a solid job of possessing the ball early on, but the group must work on capitalizing on scoring opportunities. In its first four games, Moraccini said, Dakota has come out on top when it has been able to find the net — a 5-0 season opening win over Clinton Township Chippewa Valley and a 2-1 win over Grosse Pointe North March 31. The Cougars have tallied one goal in their two other contests, going 0-1-1 in those games.
“We’ve had opportunities (to score) in each game, but we haven’t been able to capitalize on all of them,” Moraccini said. “We’ve got to be a little more explosive and get the ball in the net whenever we can.”
Leading the charge are senior co-captain Kylie Weigand and junior co-captain Lexi Schodowski. Moraccini said contributions from every player will be important if the team is to accomplish its goals, but Weigand and Schodowski will be the key catalysts.
Those goals include winning the MAC White Division. The team’s last division title came in 2012, when Dakota was a member of the MAC Blue Division.
Moraccini, who cited Macomb L’Anse Creuse North and Anchor Bay as a couple of the tougher teams in the league, said consistency will be key in competing for a league title. The Dakota coach also wants to have a strong showing in the postseason.
“I have a good feeling about this team,” Moraccini said. “The team just has to play as one and work to get better every game.”
Dakota’s next match is at 7 p.m. April 16 against Utica High at Dakota.