The Red Deer Alberta Major Women’s Soccer League squad struggled mightily in recent years, but what’s in the past stays in the past, coach Ado Sarcevic suggested Saturday.
“Whatever happened in the past two years . . . I guess this is the best start obviously,” said Sarcevic, following the Red Deer Renegades’ 4-1 win over Lethbridge FC at Great Chief Park.
The Renegades are off to a 2-0 start in the 2013 season, a far cry from the early and lasting difficulties experienced by the former Red Deer City team, which was winless last season while netting a total of four goals.
“Are we truly believing in the team and the players we have? Again, it just that mentality and the players’ mentality, especially the ones who have been with the team for quite some time, that you always start slow or we didn’t score many goals,” said first-year coach Sarcevic, whose club opened the season June 2 with a 4-0 win over the host Calgary Alliance.
“Now we have scored more goals in two games than in all last year.”
Strikers Paula Dadensky struck for two goals — her third and fourth of the season — for the Renegades, who will attempt to nail down a third consecutive victory Wednesday when they host 0-1-1 Edmonton Northwest United at 7:30 p.m. at Great Chief Park.
Claire Wallace and Teagan Donald also tallied against winless Lethbridge (0-3), whose lone goal was courtesy of Nikki Furukawa.
Sarcevic said the quick start has provided his players with a major boost of confidence.
“Absolutely, and that’s what we will try to build on when we play Wednesday here,” he said. “Hopefully we can get a positive result there too, but what’s important is now we know that we have enough talent and we are able to play good soccer while scoring some goals and at the same time defending (well).”
The Renegades prevailed Saturday despite the absence of regulars Sydney Daines, who scored twice in the season-opener, and Shannon Middlemiss.
“Anther good thing about this year is if we’re missing a player or two still there is enough depth on the bench that we can replace those players,” said Sarcevic. “I think that adds an extra dimension to the team.”
Another key to success, the coach suggested, is controlling emotions. In other words, keeping both the highs and the lows at a manageable level.
“That’s what we tell the girls,” said Sarcevic. “We had a good start and enjoyed the past week and today it was time to work again and we worked hard again.
“We prepared ourselves and worked hard this game and got a win. That’s awesome. This is two games in a row now, but the third game is on its own. We are down on the ground. We are not going up there high (with emotions).”