Through March 27, Terry Sanford’s girls soccer team had a 10-0 record and had yet to allow a goal this season.
Bulldog coach Karl Molnar is excited by his team’s success and admits the resume looks good on paper.
But he also knows his team is far from perfect. “As a coach, I lose sleep at night knowing the little things we’re not doing well,’’ he said. “We are still winning, and that’s great, but I do know until we start doing those things well we’re not going to be competitive in the state tournament.’’
Molnar thinks problems could start as early as the Patriot Athletic Conference tournament for the Bulldogs if some of their better league opponents show improvement. “They’d have picked up their games and hopefully we will too,’’ he said. “Right now I see us struggling, and I’m very focused on what we need to fix.’’
The strong points for the Bulldogs so far are a versatile offense and stingy multi-playered defense.
Molnar said he’s got several players capable of scoring, three of them with 10 or more goals, led by Maiya Parrous with 14.
“When you’ve got four people who can comfortably put the ball in the back of the net, it makes you tough to defend,’’ Molnar said.
On defense, Terry Sanford tends to dominate play in the midfield. “We seem to control that area,’’ Molnar said.
Newcomer Kara Walker has been a major addition on defense, which is anchored by Ally Gustafson.
The last line of defense is veteran goalkeeper Lindsay Bell. “She’s a phenomenal athlete and catches tough shots with ease,’’ Molnar said.
Another key player in the midfield is senior Talia Parrous, who has signed to play soccer at UNCWilmington this fall.
“She is playing like a senior,’’ Molnar said. “I think she is doing all she can to make this a meaningful year of soccer.’’
As a senior and a captain, Parrous said her main goal with the Bulldogs this year is to be a leader, helping other players find their roles and working to improve team chemistry.
She agrees with Molnar that the Bulldogs have some things they need to fix. She and Corinne Shovlain are still adjusting to new positions in the middle of the field. “We’re going to have to work on that and our defense a little bit,’’ she said. “Team chemistry is good, but if it was better, it would help us more.’’
Parrous said her biggest concern looking toward a possible berth in the state playoffs is how the Bulldogs will handle better offensive teams.
“We haven’t been tested with anything strong offensively,’’ she said. “It’s going to be different when we’re tested by five or six good offensive players coming down our throat. I think we can handle it.’’
Parrous is focusing on the rest of the season with Terry Sanford, but it won’t be long until she shifts gears to play at UNC-Wilmington.
She plans to work out over the summer following a fitness regimen sent to her by the Seahawks and continue training with local soccer guru Jimmy Maher. She’ll leave at the end of July to enroll at UNC-Wilmington.
“I’m hoping I won’t get redshirted,’’ she said. “I need to come in and be humble and modest and try to earn my position. I know every player down there is just as good.’’
Photos: Midfield senior and captain Talia Parrous, Terry Sanford girls soccer