There are days when Carlmont High girls' soccer coach Tina Doss doesn't recognize her team. Those are the days when the Scots, who are 5-1-1 in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division, 9-2-2 overall, tend to take time off, mentally, and they falter ever so slightly.
On other days, it's Doss who can sit back and watch a group of talented artists using soccer as their canvas to create beautiful and wonderous images on the playing field. That's the team Doss would like to see more often as the league season enters its final phase.
"I'm just trying to get them to play consistent for 80 minutes," Doss said as the Scots prepare to host Hillsdale on Tuesday at 4 p.m. "They have the skills to play at a high level. There are teams in this league that, if you have a mental lapse, will kill you."
The Scots were up on Menlo-Atherton, 3-0, and then lapsed into a satisfied state of mind. The Bears scored two quick goals and Carlmont had to work to ward off the tying goal.
Carlmont is doing something right. Doss has her team in second place, two points shy of PAL powerhouse Woodside, with seven games to play.
The Scots also play at Aragon on Thursday, a team they tied the first time around. Doss hasn't bothered to look too far ahead either. That would be a mistake, she said.
"Hillsdale may not have a ton of wins but they are in every single game," said Doss, in her third year as varsity coach after spending nine years coaching the frosh-soph. "They made a big jump from the Ocean Division and their scores are close."
Two of her players -- Amelia Jacobs and Melissa Wood -- are future NCAA Division I players but Doss doesn't want to rely on a couple of players. She has them committed to playing together.
She has a problem most other coaches would love to have: too many players who can score.
Freshman Kayla Fong is team leader in goals scored and Doss said "she and usually one of the others will score in any given game."
Doss has won a league title and qualified for the Central Coast Section playoffs in her first two years. The Scots reached the quarterfinals two years and the semifinals last year. Will this be the year Carlmont reaches the championship match?
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