The Ponte Vedra Sharks are continuing to grow the chemistry of their team with each game that passes and that even includes after a 13-8 loss to Bartram Trail in the Second Annual Rivalry on the River hosted by The Bolles School March 26.
Despite the loss, the Sharks continued to fight until the very end and demonstrated the resilience head coach Jen Conway is wanting to see as the regular season comes to an end in the next month.
“It didn’t feel like we were down five goals, because they kept the effort going throughout the whole game, which is what we ask for,” Conway said. “They are really starting to gain the confidence out there and a trust in each other.”
Lily Mosser led the Sharks offensively, with her quick shot that found the back of the opposing net four times during the contest.
“I’ve really worked on driving to the goal and not being scared to take on the defender,” Mosser said.
Only a sophomore, Mosser is one of many talented young players the Sharks have on a roster that only has two seniors, Kenzie Conway and Sarah James.
“If you saw us play our first game, we did not look like this,” Mosser chuckled. “We take it game by game, but we’ve definitely seen the improvement. I feel like we’re playing much more as a team.”
According to junior and Vanderbilt commit Anna Taraboletti, having such a young team meant that there were a lot of new girls on the team at the start of the year and although it has taken some time to develop relationships, the squad has become more familiar with their new teammates.
“A lot of our team hadn’t played together before this year,” Taraboletti said. “We started off a little rocky (this season), but we know what it takes to get to state and we’re getting to that point.”
Taraboletti found her groove late with consecutive goals in the final five minutes of the game, but it was too late for a serious comeback to be mounted.
However, playing toe-to-toe against a tough team like the Bears is something Conway believes the Sharks can build upon moving forward.
“We have tough games scheduled because we want to be challenged,” Conway said. “A lot of people get caught up on the record and ranking but seeing that progression through a season is much more important to me. That growth through the season is the most fun for me and the reason why I coach.”
Another bright spot for the Sharks was the play of junior goalie Ava LaManna, who faced a bevy of shots and stood tall on several occasions with some acrobatic saves on the day.
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