YORK -- It has been a roller coaster week for the York girls soccer team.
The group tore through its early-season schedule, boosting its record to 4-0 entering region play against Northwestern last week.
As the bus rolled into Rock Hill, the team believed they could beat the Trojans, a group that had downed the Cougars in every match for the last 10 years, according to York Head Coach Katie Scheib.
That's exactly what they did.
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York fought their way to a 1-0 win over Northwestern to open their region schedule, a schedule that still included two matches against powerhouses Fort Mill and Clover, but the win provided momentum and energy for the team.
"They played phenomenal - good passing. They never gave up," Scheib said about her team's win against Northwestern. "They gave it everything they had - they couldn't walk afterwards."
Sophomore Devin Puckett scored the winning goal for the Cougars, and team captain Samantha Schwartz provided much of the leadership, directing the team and moving the ball up and down the field, Scheib said.
"We've been doing really well. Against Northwestern we played our butts off," Schwartz said. "I think we'll have to if we want to make it to the playoffs this year."
Having signed on to play soccer at Columbia College next year, Schwartz said she is working hard this season as a way to transition into the college game.
"I'm trying to play different positions - trying to be a more versatile player on the field," she said.
Schwartz is chasing another goal as well.
Actually, another five goals.
She has scored 63 goals in her career at York, five away from the school record of 68.
"I think she has a great chance of catching it," Scheib said.
Schwartz had a tough time moving toward 68 on Monday night during York's next match, at home against Fort Mill.
The Jackets, the top ranked team in the region at eighth in the state, flexed their muscles and overpowered the Cougars' defense, shutting out York 8-0.
"We're going to have to play together better against these tough teams," Schwartz said after the Fort Mill match. "We have to play our ball and not be intimidated."
Scheib said although it was a tough loss on the heels of the big win against Northwestern, but it could still be a positive learning experience for the team, now 5-1 on the season.
"We need to work on our use of space, quick passing and vision," Scheib said. "Fort Mill is a talented team - I think we can learn from this. I think we can play up to them."
York will have their chance. The teams will play again Tuesday night, in Fort Mill.
The Cougars' next home game is a big match also, a rematch with Northwestern, Thursday, April 9.