A universal sporting truth is how well one practices directly impacts how well one plays.
The Glenbard South girls soccer team nailed the correlation in Saturday's 8-0 nonconference win over Peotone on a nice spring day in Glen Ellyn.
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"I think it was just a decision that we all made together as a team to focus and to possess (the ball) because we haven't been possessing well this season at all," said senior center midfielder Sadie Moore, one of seven Raiders to score.
"So we worked on that yesterday at practice and then we really just made a decision as a team today to possess and play smart instead of just kicking it up the field like we have been," said Moore, whose midfield steal and defense-splitting dribble ended with a 6-0 lead at 19:45 of the second half.
The Raiders (5-2-0) started the season with three straight wins, which coach Glen Eggert suspected may have led them to believe all would be peachy keen. Then came two losses, an underwhelming win and an early bit of soul-searching.
"We work hard. We're all girls, we're all joking around and focusing on prom," said another senior center mid, Michaela Miglio, who opened the floodgates with an unassisted goal at 20:28 of the first half and added a second unassisted goal off a steal for a 4-0 halftime lead.
"But yesterday," she said, "we really wanted to come into this game working hard and focusing on the techniques (Eggert) was trying to push on us. I think that worked really well."
Peotone (0-2-0) came off an 8-0 loss to Manteno on Friday. Coach Rebecca Porter figured her Blue Devils might again be up against it facing Glenbard South's more tested squad -- most physically larger and stronger as well, the better to control the ball.
That was the case, as Miglio and Moore delivered 12 corner kicks in the first half alone. Peotone didn't register a shot on goal in the game, while the Devils' adept junior goalkeeper Emily Prium made 12 saves.
Porter still noted "100 percent improvement" over Friday's outing.
"It's tough playing teams already that have four or five games under their belt," she said. "We're just not in game shape yet. I would say both halves (Peotone) came out strong the first 20 minutes, and we just got tired."
Bolstering Glenbard South's first-half output were Julie Rausch -- off the crossbar and in with backspin -- and Jen Larson, unassisted.
Fiona Van Teylingen one-timed a Miglio corner to resume the Raiders' scoring in the second half. Sarah Ziegler and Marlena Benner concluded the whitewash, assisted respectively by Bridget Pyle and Moore.
Eggert's challenge to control the ball got answered. The Raiders' eagerness to distribute the ball had Peotone, as he said, chasing and eventually worn out.
"The challenge for them will be," Eggert said, "is can they now maintain that mindset? It's fairly easy to do over a short window, but it takes a lot of discipline and a lot of commitment to do it (for) how many weeks are left in the season. A lot of weeks and some really strong opponents."