RIVERSIDE:  When you play the best game of the 21 games you’ve played all season and still come away with a loss, you’re left looking for silver linings.

That Silver Lining is you playing your best game of the season.  Kind of weird to say it that way, but that’s the way it is.

It’s what Coach Dave Smith said his girls’ soccer team did yesterday in a 2-0 loss to Santiago. Despite the score, they played their best game in 21 games this season.

The game was 0-0 at halftime with both teams searching for scoring opportunities. A King foul at the 30 yard line led to a free kick which was converted by Santiago to make it 1-0. With four minutes left in the game King pushed up all of their players to try and score the equalizing goal but gave up a transition goal to Santiago to make the final 2-0.

The dark cloud ringed with the argentine edge sits atop a backdrop of full seasons of dark clouds in recent years.

Smith was quick to note it as perspective. “The big picture for the girls is to put this game into perspective of the past few years.”

Indeed, those were gloomy years and though the Wolves have lost the last three games, in each they were tied at half time and gave up late goals.  The players do well to see the contrast of past and present.

“Last night was a fast paced, intense game between two teams who both felt they could win the game. As a coach, I cannot ask for more.” Smith said.

He continued, “I was please with the intensity of the girls. The defense played well organized in the back and did a great job of defending a tremendously talented team. Our midfielders played an exceptional game and were engaged all game defensively to limit scoring opportunities.”

This program no longer plays under dark clouds of gloom.  While improvement will need to continue happen (Smith noted unnecessary fouls and the endurance to finish strong) and though there are some cloudy days, increasingly there is a growing lining of glittery silver to those moments and the team is looking forward to nothing but sunshine.

It’s coming and appears to be coming soon.

King is 12-3-6  (2-2-1) on the season.