Lady Wildcats set to take on BriarwoodPublished 10:22am Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
That anecdote about mental strength and willpower best sums up the Benjamin Russell Lady Wildcats as they head into their first-round playoff match-up versus Briarwood Christian.
“At first I was a little worried (about BRHS’ mental state),” BRHS girls soccer coach Meghan Bailey said. “We had lost some games late in the season, and the girls were down because, while they weren’t games that we were expected to win, we really wanted them. But since we haven’t had any games in a while, we’ve had a lot of practice. We’ve brought up some junior varsity girls to help us, and the team is definitely stepping up.”
The Lady Wildcats will have to do just that in order to avoid a fate similar to last year, when BRHS was bounced from the opening round by Homewood.
Bailey said that while formidable, Briarwood – based on what she knows of the Lady Wildcats’ opponents – can be had.
“From the early scouting reports that I’ve gotten from coaches whose teams have played Briarwood, they’ve got a very strong player in the middle,” Bailey said. “But they are very beatable. We’ve spent a lot of time changing up our style of play to fit theirs. We have to go out and play Benjamin Russell soccer like I know we can.”
With the expectation of advancing well into the playoffs established before the start of the year, Bailey said she felt the Lady Wildcats are poised to make good on that goal. Ultimately, she said, it will come down to whether or not the Lady ‘Cats collective heads are in the game when the opening whistle sounds.
“The biggest thing for us is going to be our mental state,” Bailey said. “Sometimes our girls can freak out a little bit before big games, but as long as we stay calm and know we can win, we should be fine.”
BRHS and Briarwood Christian will play today at 5 p.m., weather permitting, at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex.