The only two seniors on Catholic's squad - Jenny Borman and Hannah George - have helped the younger players find their way. George, who has 11 goals this season, and Borman were part of the Irish's three-peat from 2008-10.
"[Jenny] really has helped those freshmen in the back and guide them along,'' Amy Mullen said. "She knows what the girls have to do and the commitment it takes. They all look up to her. [Hannah has] shown great leadership up front.''
The Irish played a challenging schedule that included 10 Class AAA schools, posting a modest 5-5 record but gaining so much from the experience. The Irish led AAA No. 4 Winfield 1-0 at halftime and No. 6 GW 2-1 with 18 minutes left but couldn't close the deal. GW and Winfield are both in the AAA state tournament field.
"Now we're a little more confident,'' Mullen said. "I think [the tough schedule] gave us the experience to be able to be ready for every game. I think it's really just taken time for us to get the confidence that we can do it.
"We have a lot of young players and they're having to go against seniors and juniors. They just weren't used to it. I just think after each game how we would have success and we couldn't hang onto it. As the year progressed we hung onto those games longer and longer.''
And now they're winning them.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.