What Claros has been looking for is a sustained attack. When things weren’t going well, North was experiencing breakdowns between its midfield and forward lines. Specifically, attacks tended to be too direct and were quickly fizzling. Nothing was sustained.
“I never felt like we were getting enough balls served across to have a chance to get on the end of it,” Claros said. “Once you get people respecting service out wide, that’s when the middle of the field might open up again.”
While North addresses external challenges like trying to continue the offensive display it conjured against Memorial, where it scored three second-half goals in 22 minutes, getting away for three games in two days should offer other opportunities as well.
“It can bring us together,” senior defender Ashton Bray said.
That’s the teambuilding aspect most coaches hope they’re signing up for when scheduling out-of-state trips. Make everybody live with each other for a few days and they come back with more unity and a stronger bond.
“It’s always been positive in the past and it should be again,” Claros said.
Already, the T-Wolves may have passed a crucial test.
Bray, one of North’s captains, used a phrase near and dear to his coach’s heart when he described his and his teammates’ response to suffering two losses.
“The work rate has picked up quite a bit ever since those two losses,” he said. “We’ve really started to pick things up and we’re heading in the right direction.”
Three games in two days, four in four and six in eight have the potential to blow a team off course, but it can also go the other direction emphatically. That’s what the T-Wolves are counting on.
“It’s a chance to go out there and make a statement about who we are,” Bray said. “We’re still the same Norman North. We started slow, but that’s still who we are.
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