FORT BRANCH -- Playing in just their third game of the season, Mount Carmel's girls soccer team had a tricky time working out the logistics of Saturday's game against Metro East Lutheran.
Originally slated to play at the Wabash Valley College soccer field, they were forced to relocate at the last minute, which ultimately led to them playing at the Gibson County soccer fields behind Toyota.
Once that was all settled, both teams took the field, a match which Mount Carmel narrowly dropped in their 2-1 loss to Metro East on Saturday afternoon.
Metro East struck first in the game, scoring a goal in the 12th minute off a deflection that made it past goalie Allison Thread's outreached arms, giving Metro East a 1-0 lead which would hold for over 60 minutes of play.
With under two minutes of action remaining and needing a neutralizing goal, Maya Smith struck with a goal in the 73rd minute, assisted by Haley Wright on a play started by Ally Kendall. The goal drew the game to a 1-1 draw and positioned it for an entertaining ending.
"Something we need to work on is it took us a bit to match the intensity of the other team," Berberich spoke of his team's intensity. "It really wasn't until the second half that we started playing as aggressively as we want to as a team."
Unfortunately for the Lady Aces, the Lady Knights scored a goal with just three minutes remaining to put themselves back ahead at 2-1, this time for good.
For the game Mount Carmel took 12 shots, nine coming on the frame and created nine additional scoring chances with three corner kicks. Metro East took nine shots, seven on the frame. Thread had eight saves for Mount Carmel.
Berberich said the playing conditions at the field weren't ideal for the Lady Aces, but they made the most of what they were given.
"The girls played well enough to win this one, and shouldn't feel bad about the end result," Berberich said. "With the neutral field we located for this game, the playing surface wasn't ideal for the way we want to play, but we did our best with what we had."
The game was just Mount Carmel's (0-3) third of the season, whereas Metro East Lutheran has played 14 games. Mount Carmel's inexperience played a factor, but they're continuing to gain experience. They'll gain a boat load of it in a hurry, as this Monday they'll begin a six game, 15-day stretch.
"In terms of games played, we're still very early in our season and that does make a difference in these matches against teams that have played so much more than we have to this point," Berberich said. "In this case, this was Metro East's 13th match, but the girls are playing hard through that and making improvements each time out. . . . Our biggest challenge will be this upcoming stretch of the season. With only three games under our belts in this first month, we now face a two week stretch of eight games, so our endurance will be tested."
Their first game will be a home game on Monday against Salem High School (0-6-1), followed by a Wednesday road matchup with Richland County (2-6) at 4:30 p.m.