Stephens College coach Carrie Crossett knows it is difficult to be competitive when your soccer team lacks the depth to field a solid practice.
Harris-Stowe State College defeated the Stars 9-0 at Cosmopolitan Park on Thursday night.
The Hornets (1-5) scored four quick goals in the first half and used their bench more effectively than the overmatched Stars.
The Stars (0-2) were able to get enough players to have a game this time.
Crossett’s team had to drop out of a tournament on Sept. 5 because scheduling conflicts left them without enough players. The Stars have 13 players on their roster, but often have fewer than 10 players available.
“It’s hard to play 90 minutes with very few subs,” Crossett said.
Unable to find an offensive rhythm, the Stars never seriously contended, despite the efforts of their freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Blackwell.
Blackwell started her first game in goal after playing forward in a 12-0 season-opening loss on Sept. 13 to Ottawa. Crossett complimented Blackwell’s play.
“She’s having a really good game,” Crossett said. “She’s really held us together here today.”
Hornets’ coach Rock Rone said teamwork created great scoring chances for his players.
“We’re sharing the ball and playing as a team,” Rone said. “You want the high-percentage play, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Hornets senior Nicole Thompson scored twice and added an assist. Freshman midfielder Christine Bell had a goal and two assists for the Hornets.
“I think it’s good for the team to get a strong beginning,” Bell said. “This is probably our best game we’ve played so far.”
The Hornets’ ball control and communication overwhelmed the Stars as they pressured Blackwell constantly.
The Stars are not letting the thin roster affect their spirits.
“It’s hard because at practice you can’t get a full team out, so it’s been difficult to do intense game work, but everyone seems to have some dedication,” Blackwell said.