By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
The North Laurel Jaguars’ soccer team came oh-so-close to the goal that every high school soccer team sets out every season and that is reaching the state tournament.
Jaguar head coach MarC Acampa’s squad came up just short as it lost to Corbin in the 13th Region Championship match via penalty kicks.
What makes the loss even tougher to take is the fact North Laurel had knocked off the very same Redhound team to win the district title a week prior to the region tourney loss.
“We felt like we had a really good shot at beating them again, but it just was not to be,” Acampa said. “Corbin is a really good team and we were really pleased with our effort in the district finals and the chance to bring home our first ever district title.
“The kids put up a good fight in that region final and to be honest, to take a quality team such as Corbin to penalty kicks is really saying something for our program,” he added. “They’ve achieved the kind of success we are striving to reach here with our program and we will continue to do that in the future.”
Coming into the 2012 season, Acampa said he knew his team had its work cut out for it, especially considering the number of seniors he lost from the 2011 squad.
“When you have to think about replacing seven seniors from the previous season, you know you’re going to have to work hard,” Acampa said. “But we knew we had some good players coming in to help fill those voids and some kids that would really make us work harder as a team.
“As it turns out, those kids that came in were a really good fit,” he added. “There’s still some technical things we need to work on and finishing in front of the goal is one of the biggest problems we had all year. I think that’s something that every team tries to improve upon every time they are out there.”
In the end, Acampa said the season as a whole was a success and he felt like his team came a long way from where it was the season before.
“Being in the district finals and then to win the championship against a team like Corbin, we were just thrilled as a program,” Acampa said. “I think what we achieved said a lot about the boys’ commitment to winning and playing together as a team.
“All year long we were able to go about our business with a group of guys who played unselfishly,” he added. “It wasn’t never about who got the goal with this team, but it was more about 'hey let’s get the goal with this team.’”