<strong>SMITHFIELD—</strong> Hindered by a knee injury to a star senior, the Sky View girl’s soccer team started its 2012 campaign with a 3-1 loss to Fremont High School, Thursday.
With a minute and a half left in the first half of the season-opener, Sky View senior Jessica Brooksby was taken down by a Fremont player. After lying on the field holding her left knee, Brooksby limped off the field with what coaches and players are worried is an ACL injury.
Brooksby, Sky View’s lead returning scorer, was out for a good portion of her junior season with an ACL tear in her right knee.
“Jessica’s been through it before,” Sky View head coach Doyle Geddes said. “She knows her body and she’s convinced that’s what it is.”
Geddes said Brooksby will go to the doctor Friday and the team will move forward from there.
“I think my team got deflated when Jessica got hurt. It’s no secret that JB is probably our top player. So much of what we do goes through her. I could see I had a team who was worried about her more than they were worried about the game and that’s understandable.”
Despite the loss, Geddes said he is feeling optimistic about the season and was pleased with what he saw from his team on the field.
“A lot more good things than bad happened tonight. We had a quality opponent in Fremont, so we knew we were up against a tough 5A team. Overall there were some good things,” he said. “We were able to get one in the net. We recognize that we weren’t able to defend very well at the point of the ball. We didn’t play solid 1-on-1 defense, but that’s fixable. We’ll tweak that and get better at that.”
Senior McKenley Hellstern scored the sole goal for the Bobcats Thursday night, one of just five shots taken in the first half.
“It was a good game,” Hellstern said. “We came out strong, but you can tell we still have a few things to work on.”
Fremont was lead by junior Mariah Elmer who, aside from a powerful flip-throw, was fierce in the box, netting two of the Silver Wolves three goals.
The first Fremont goal came just seconds after Brooksby’s injury, ending the first half in a draw. The Silver Wolves came out of the break strong, scoring two goals in two minutes. Junior Hannah Loftus scored the team’s third goal off a penalty kick.
Fremont dominated the shots Thursday night, taking 20 total shots compared to Sky View’s eight. However, the Silver Wolves’ numerous shots provided Sky View goalkeeper Kylee Hellstern an opportunity to rack up some saves, having eight on the night.
The Sky View girls continue a three-game homestand Friday afternoon as they play host to Skyline. Both Geddes and the team have already seen the improvements needed to have the successful season they are looking toward.
“We need to just be smarter back in our defense, as well as at the forward position,” Hellstern said. “We need to connect passes and make strong runs.”
Geddes said he is making sure his players are ready to move on, with or without Brooksby.
“I told them tonight we’re going to pray for the best with her, but prepare for the worst. That means we have to come ready tomorrow,” he said. “If we don’t have JB, that’s what she would want, for each one of them to step it up a bit.
“We’re just going to stay the course. This was a good match. We don’t like the result, but I like what I saw. I liked our team concept, I liked our tactics, I liked the way we moved the ball.”
The Bobcats game against Skyline is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m. in Smithfield.