- February 27, 2015
The West Orange girls soccer team notched a significant victory Dec. 9, beating a team coach Stan Banks believes it had not defeated in about seven years.
Of course, Banks is focused on making sure his girls don’t let the 1-0 win against Apopka go to their heads. After all, the road to the Warriors’ goals this winter will almost certainly run through the Blue Darters at least once more.
“It’s tough, because as much as we want to celebrate that (win) probably boosting us to a first seed (in the district tournament) — that’s a team you’ve got to beat twice to get through,” Banks said. “So as big as that win was, the work is far from done.”
Indeed, Banks — whose West Orange club is 9-2-4 after dropping a pair of contests at the ultra-competitive Montverde Invitational over the weekend — isn’t just worried about a rematch with Apopka. The competition in Class 5A District 4 has gone up a notch this winter.
“As well as Dr. Phillips has been playing, and Olympia, suddenly this district is looking probably more even than it has as long as I’ve been around it,” Banks said. “Probably longer than that.”
The Panthers are 11-2-1, and although the Titans are 4-5-2, one of those two draws came in a well-played contest against the Warriors.
Banks said he was concerned about his team’s consistency, noting that often there are games where the offense will attempt just four shots on goal in one half and then 14 shots on goal in the second. What’s most impressed the third year coach, though, has been his team’s defense and its youth.
“We hadn’t been scored on in a month until the Montverde tournament,” Banks said. “We have a freshman keeper, we have a freshman centerback, we have a sophomore fullback — a pretty young back line, and they were able to keep a clean sheet for a month going into Montverde.”
West Orange outscored opponents 23-0 during that stretch. Looming for the Warriors before the holiday break are contests with Lake Minneola (12-0) and Freedom (9-6-6). West Orange hosted Lake Minneola Tuesday after press time and will host Freedom at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18.