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Building a program

Falls Lake girls soccer focusing on growth, not record

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OXFORD The Falls Lake Academy Lady Firebirds soccer team had just finished a match with Franklin Academy at Granville Athletic Park on April 17. Head coach Lindsay Graham told her team to keep their heads up after a 10-0 defeat.

“I saw improvement today. We were more aggressive and got to the ball better,” Graham said. “We were communicating much better and we are calling for the ball. We are taking what we are learning in practice and applying that on the field.”

Despite having a 1-9 record, the Lady Firebirds are working hard and improving.

“We are not going to get caught up in the numbers, we are building a soccer program at Falls Lake,” Graham said.

Graham is no stranger to building a program. She and her husband, Michael, helped revive a struggling girls basketball program at one of the area high schools before she moved to Falls Lake Academy.

“We have 19 (girls) on the roster this year and the majority of them are freshmen or sophomores, so we have a lot of players to build the program,” Graham said. “Many of the players are playing soccer for the first time and we have a few that have some experience.”

“This is such a good group of student-athletes, they are very receptive to learning the game,” she added. “They always give it 100 percent when they step on the field.”

The Lady Firebirds have been practicing on a small section of grass on campus or in the gym. They also have traveled to the GAP to practice and play their home game.

That changes today with the opening of the new soccer field at Falls Lake Academy.

“The new field is a turf field and we will host our first match (tonight),” Falls Lake athletic director Kate Wright said.

Graham hopes to continue to develop and grow the program, with the next level being just around the corner.

The Lady Firebirds are scheduled to play Roxboro Community today on their new home field.