BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick girls soccer team is experiencing a little bit of an identity crisis.
Despite the Blue Devils posting a 5-0 win Wednesday over Elyria at Judy Kirsch Field and improving to 2-0, coach Scott Ward was not pleased, to say the least.
Ward, who is in his second stint, senses that something major is missing from a team that has 10 returning starters — all of whom are juniors — and high hopes for its first league championship since 2008.
“They have to decide what team they are going to be,” he said. “There is no other team on our schedule where we can play like that and come away with a win. Immaturity, selfishness, lack of team of play, all of that factored into how we played.
“Even in the second half when we scored our goals, we shouldn’t have been in that position.”
From the opening whistle, Brunswick was on the attack. Junior center midfielder Macey Juguilon powered a shot that hit the inside post. It wasn’t called a goal until after the referee and assistant referee on the far side discussed it.
The Blue Devils had 18 total shots in the first half — five of which were on goal — and only had one score to show for it.
“We definitely didn’t play to the level that we could’ve, and we definitely needed to play more as a team,” freshman defender Heather Craska said. “If we want to be successful this season, we’re definitely going to have to pick up what we’re doing and play better.”
The barrage of shots on the Pioneers (0-3) continued in the second half, as Brunswick uncorked 21 more attempts, including 11 on frame, but this time with a different result on the scoreboard.
A little more than 2 minutes into the second half, Gabby Maslowski dribbled the ball to the flag and delivered a perfectly placed cross that Nikki Shotzbarger connected on for her second goal of the season.
The Blue Devils then experienced a drought of more than 20 minutes before Jordyn Newcomer, Juguilon and Sam Malleo found the back of the net in a 12-minute span.
“I think we got numbers up a little bit more, which put pressure on Elyria, but other than that we didn’t play smart, we didn’t play to feet,” Ward said of the second half. “Too much kickball and not the kind of soccer we need to play to beat or play with any team on our schedule.”
The Blue Devils know with Medina, Copley and North Royalton — all of which play in the same district tournament — on the docket, they will need to bring a different mindset.
“We have to work on playing together as team and we need to make sure we pick up the intensity,” Craska said. “Just go out and play our hardest.”
At halftime, Brunswick’s under-13 team was introduced to the crowd. The team is coached by former Buckeye boys coach and former Blue Devil standout Jeff Koeth.
• Jasmine Tombline, Kaylee Durken, Meghan Williams, Lauren Mayell and Kasi Safko scored multiple goals as Brunswick’s junior varsity rolled to a 13-0 win.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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