Even though the Mansfield girls soccer team is 2-1 heading into this week’s games, it still has its sights set on redemption for the loss.
The Lady Tigers are certainly in a transition season under new head coach George Velten, but the chemistry of the squad is building each week.
Heading into its game with South Grand Prairie in the early week and the home game with Cedar Hill on Friday, Mansfield was holding its own in the young season’s district schedule.
The Lady Tigers had knocked off Grand Prairie, 4-1, and DeSoto, 5-2, to start their district schedule.
The lone loss is to Duncanville, and that loss is weighing heavy on the team.
“We should be 3-0, but the girls have just developed a sense of urgency and we’re on a win streak,” said Velten prior to their bye last Friday.
If Mansfield can take care of business this week with South Grand Prairie and Cedar Hill, Velten noted the Lady Tigers would be in second place by themselves before they have to take on district leader Midlothian.
“If we’re looking ahead,” Velten said, “we’re looking to Duncanville again.”
That game is one which Mansfield feels it should never have lost but the players will use it as a training tool and motivating experience the rest of the way.
“But I’m a process guy,” Velten added, “so we will go day-by-day, game-by-game.”
With Mansfield on a bit of a winning streak, the Lady Tigers are continuing with a senior-laden team complemented by strong younger players.
“We’re not rebuilding, we’re restructuring,” Velten said of the storied Mansfield program. “The program has a lot of wins but it’s still a process.”
The blue-collar attitude of the coach is slowing rubbing off on the Lady Tigers, but it takes time for a personality to embed itself in a team.
“We’ve got some tremendous talent but I can tell you now, we will not have the DFW Metroplex MVP this year,” the coach said of the balanced talent.
Mansfield has its “go-to” players in seniors Jordan Tittsworth and Paige Taylor.
Hannah Webb is just a sophomore, but may be one of the strongest leaders on the team.
“The girls are great and they’re coming to work every day,” Velten said.
“The losses have been due to coaching mistakes, and the wins are the girls outplaying the coaching,” he said dryly. “I needed to make some substitutions against Duncanville. I’ll do a better job of managing the losses.”
After managing the next three games, Mansfield will have the second shot against Duncanville on Feb. 20 on the road.
There’s still plenty of the season to focus on other than the Duncanville game, but watch for Mansfield to be back in sync from how it played the first time around.
“It’s all about them, though,” Velten summarized. “I’m just trying to manage the talent.”