Gloucester's girls soccer team still hasn't played a complete game, at least not in the eyes of head coach Bob Fisher. But the Dukes still have a perfect record in the Peninsula District, the latest win a 2-1 decision over Kecoughtan on Wednesday afternoon.
Carrie Adams' goal with less than six minutes left broke a 1-1 tie as the Dukes (8-3-1, 7-0) maintained its snug lead over Woodside in the standings. Gloucester plays the Wolverines (5-0-1 in the district) Friday on the road.
"They're getting closer," Fisher said of his team. "They're winning on effort, but the effort isn't consistent. That's the problem. I hope they continue to put more minutes together. They're a young group and they're still learning. I'm really proud of them."
How young? Of the 22 players on the roster,18 are either freshmen or sophomores. The Dukes' two goal scorers Tuesday, Adams and Mary Williams, are both sophomores. The two who set them up, Maegan Beck and Delaney Doyle, are both freshmen.
"I don't think it's that we're young," Adams said of the inconsistency. "We've all been playing together a while. I just think our minds aren't there in certain points of the game. Something either peps us up or bring us down. It's a mental thing."
The game-winner was set up nicely by Doyle, who despite getting banged into a few times was able to slide the ball to Adams. She kicked it in from just outside the 6-yard box to the left of the goal.
Williams' goal in the game's seventh minute gave Gloucester a 1-0 lead. The Dukes had chances to add to that, but it was still a one-goal game when McKenna Simpson answered for Kecoughtan. It was the first goal the Dukes had given up in seven district games this season.
There was nothing keeper Cheyenne Hogge could do. Simpson angled it in perfectly from the far right side as the Dukes' defense was caught off guard.
"I give a lot of credit to the young lady who struck it," Fisher said. "I could tell the whole back line except for one girl thought the ball had gone out of bounds, so they did not move as a unit."
The goal did seem to shake Gloucester back to life.
"It hit us after they scored that we needed to get back in it," Williams said. "We're a good team, but sometimes when you get out there and score, you think the game is won."
GLOUCESTER 2, KECOUGHTAN 1
: Kecoughtan, Simpson. Gloucester, Williams, Adams.
: Kecoughtan, Zolea. Gloucester, Beck, Doyle.
: Kecoughtan 12, Gloucester 14.
: Kecoughtan (Matthews) 8, Gloucester (Hogge) 6.
: Kecoughtan 4-6-1, 4-3, Gloucester 8-3-1, 7-0.
Kecoughtan boys 2, Gloucester
The Warriors clinched no worse than a tie for the regular-season championship with its second shutout of a title contender in 24 hours.
Kecoughtan (8-2-3, 7-0-0) was coming off a 4-0 win over Woodside on Tuesday afternoon. That, coupled with the long drive to Gloucester on Wednesday, made for a long day.
"Plus, we had to come up with the girls team, so the guys basically had to wait four hours to play," Warriors coach Frank Hughes said. "The first 20, 30 minutes, you could see they were heavy-legged. But once we got past that, we settled into the game."
Austin Denney's header in the box off a Cody Slezak assist gave Kecoughtan a 1-0 lead with 18 1/2 minutes left in the first half. Anders Hasselquist made it 2-0 just before halftime on an unassisted goal.
Kecoughtan can clinch the regular-season title, and the automatic spot in the Eastern Region, by beating either Hampton on Friday or Warwick on Tuesday.
KECOUGHTAN 2, GLOUCESTER 0
: 2-0, Kecoughtan.
: Kecoughtan, Denney, Hasselquist.
: Kecoughtan 14, Gloucester 6.
: Kecoughtan (Maier) 3, Gloucester (Loudermilk) 4.