Published in The News-Herald
September 11, 2019
When Kenston stepped on the pitch for a Sept. 7 nonconference match with visiting Field, the Bombers had seven freshmen and sophomores in their starting 11.
If it seems like this side was young a year ago as well, that’s because it was, essentially in the same perch underclassmen-laden.
The problem for foes on the opposite touchline, though, is Kenston is in several facets a year older and a year wiser in 2019, which could in turn make this a year to remember.
The Bombers fended off Field, 3-1, to improve to 5-0-1 on the fall. That likely would be 6-0-1 had lightning not suspended an Aug. 20 match against visiting Orange during the first half in which Kenston led, 4-0.
“The young players have confidence, and they have a lot of experience,” Bombers coach Kathleen Vass said. “We have some upperclassmen that are good leaders. We’re trying to win every game now. But we’re also trying to do things that are going to set us up for being competitive the next three, four years. Every game. Every conference game. Every playoff game.
“Sometimes the decisions we have to make to meet one of those goals conflict with each other. But we’re doing the best we can to keep this a long-standing, competitive program.”
Kenston boasts a unique mix in the starting 11, with veterans such as senior striker Elyse Myles and developing talent such as sophomore midfielder Skylar Cornell, who each contributed a goal and assist against Field.
Part of Myles’ role is presenting an example in workrate as a bridge for the present and future.
A good example of that came on the Bombers’ go-ahead goal, tracking down a ball right on the end line, playing a touch to keep it in and crossing for Sophia Mighton’s header to open a 2-1 lead.
“Whenever we get to the end line, our main focus is to cross it in, because we have a lot of people up top who have a good shot,” Myles said. “So in order to get it through to the middle and having anyone run on to it, we have like a 90 percent chance of scoring usually. Sometimes we’re unlucky, but that’s where our strong suit is.”
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