Polk County Middle's Ava Marino battles a Canton Middle defender for a loose ball during Thursday's match.

Polk County Middle’s girls soccer team didn’t get a win in its home opener Thursday, but head coach Stephanie Luedi got something nearly as important from her team.


The Wolverines dropped a 3-1 decision to Canton Middle, but after a 4-0 loss to Asheville Christian earlier this week, Thursday’s result and the opportunities that Polk had in the game left Luedi encouraged.

“We’ve definitely improved since the last game we played,” Luedi said. “There are still some wrinkles to be ironed out, but we’re getting there.”

Polk trailed 2-1 at halftime Thursday, its lone goal scored in the first half by Ava Marino. The Wolverines had a handful of scoring chances in the second half, the best of those coming with nine minutes left when Marino was stopped on a breakaway, but couldn’t get the tying goal before Canton added an insurance tally in the final minutes.

“We had a lot of chances. We were all over the goal,” Luedi said. “It’s frustrating that we didn’t get any of those in the back of the net.

“The girls work hard. We’re not there yet as far as working together, but we’re getting there. I’m excited to see how it will all work together once we do get there.”

Polk Middle returns to action on Monday, traveling to Brevard Middle for a 4:30 p.m. game.