HIBBING — The Hibbing/Chisholm High School boys soccer team happens to be young, which means the Bluejackets will experience some growing pains.
So far, Hibbing/Chisholm is 0-4 on the season, and the Bluejackets haven’t scored a goal, but in a 6-0 loss to Duluth East last week, Hibbing/Chisholm coach Joe Edman wasn’t entirely disappointed with his teams’ performance.
Edman is hoping his team can carry over that play into today when Hibbing/Chisholm gets a return engagement with the Greyhounds, beginning at 4:30 p.m., at Vic Power Field.
The Bluejackets are headed in the right direction.
“That was our best game this year,” Edman said. “The thing I noticed right away is that they were communicating better than in other games. They had a lot more fight than in any other game.
“They didn’t let the score affect how they played as much as in previous games. We had a couple of scoring chances. I thought we could have had some more. They had some positive things.”
That, in itself, was a big-step forward.
“I don’t think this team could have one much more to play smarter than they did, but they do have to focus on their individual abilities to improve,” Edman said.
Edman knows it’s difficult to look at the season in terms of wins and losses and what the team has achieved.
“Part of the challenge is to look at the cumulative effort,” Edman said. “For some of them, it’s their first year of soccer as a senior. They’ve had a good time despite the losses. The ones that have been in soccer for years, they will continue to grow, and they will continue to play.
“They have to look at how their skills have developed instead of what they could have done differently. If they do that, they will have a better appreciation for that, especially for those who are sophomores and juniors, they have a better understanding of what they need to do next year.”
Edman now has a better handle on how the Greyhounds play, and he believes his team can neutralize some of the things that Duluth East can do.
“They had a couple of lucky goals, and they have one player we had trouble stopping,” Edman said. “He’s a good dribbler, but we have a couple of guys that can match up on him. We have to take note of that right away.
“One of their players will be out of the game (he got a red card), so he won’t be available to threaten us. Overall, we have to focus on quicker passes and maintaining that tough attitude. If we do that, we’ll have a good chance at giving them a scare today.”
This time, the game will be grass instead of turf. How much will that help Hibbing/Chisholm’s cause?
“Playing on each of them are two different things,” Edman said. “This year, we didn’t get to have any scrimmages on turf. That hurt us quite a bit. The pace, overall, they’re getting there.
“They need more time.”