The Thomson girls soccer team lost to Grovetown 10-1 in a conference game at Grovetown on March 31.
"We're just not communicating on the field, and that's hurting us," head coach Jessica Ruark said after the game. "And because we're not talking to each other, we let seven goals go in that shouldn't have. This team just isn't working together. We're playing too much as individuals and not as a team."
The lack of communication was evident when Grovetown's Jazmine Benjamin scored the first goal just four minutes into the game. Grovetown went on to score three more times in the first half.
Thomson's only goal of the game came with 5:26 left in the first half when Miranda Barker kicked the ball into the net. With the score 4-1 at the half, "we're still in this game," Ruark told her players at halftime. "I'm pleased with how we're pushing the numbers up when we're on offense, but we need to pass more. And when we're on defense, we've got to cover better.
"We can still win this one. When you guys play as a team, you can do anything you set your minds to."
But an offensive outburst by Grovetown resulted in five goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half, and Thomson was never able to respond. The Lady Dogs did put together an effective defense later in the game, allowing only one more goal.
"We need to find our voices on the field," Thomson senior Amanda McClure said after the game. "We work on it in practice, but we're just not talking to each other during the game."
Despite the loss, Ruark still had praise for her players.
"Miranda (Barker) and Haley (Oubre) really hustled, especially toward the end. Ashley (Frankenfield) did a lot of running for me tonight. I put her all over the field, and she did what I asked of her every single time. And, of course, Brea (Boutwell) was again just fabulous. She was honorary captain tonight, and just today I made her an official member of the captain's squad because she has just been doing an outstanding job lately. She's really stepping up and doing what I need her to do."
With the loss, Thomson fell to fifth place in the region, behind Hephzibah.
The Lady Dogs next play a rescheduled game at Josey on Monday.