A new year has brought a new vibe to the Huntsville girls soccer program.
The Lady Hornets opened the 2021 season in dominant fashion on Tuesday night, cruising to an 8-0 win over Madisonville in front of their home fans.
“I'm kind of shocked at the score, honestly,” Huntsville head coach Jonathan Gallen said. “This is unknown territory for Lady Hornet soccer. Our program hasn't been in a good spot for five or six years, but that can be chalked up to coaching turnover. We have the same staff back this year for the first time in I think five years. You can't get any kind of consistent play with that much coaching turnover.
“I'm obviously very pleased with the result. The girls came out, executed and got a big win to start the season. It's exciting for their confidence, very exciting for the coach staff and very exciting for the high school as well.”
Huntsville jumped on its opponent early and never let up, scoring seven goals in the first 35 minutes before easing up in the second half.
“The ball movement and willingness to share the ball,” Gallen pointed to as the key to the Lady Hornets’ victory. “We have a center-mid that can do whatever she wants out there, but it wasn't just her. Other players stepped up. I think five different players scored the first five goals, which is crazy to think about. But the ball movement, willingness to share, everything was pretty impressive.”
With only six teams in District 16-5A, the Lady Hornets have more time than usual to gear up for league play. Huntsville has scheduled three tournaments this year as a result, with the first coming up at Palestine this week.
“We can go to three tournaments this year because our district is so small, so I'm taking them to three tournaments three weekends in a row,” the coach said. “We're off Wednesday, but we're right back on a bus Thursday afternoon and heading up to Palestine.”