The Indian Land High School girls soccer team knew the road would be a tough one to travel.
From the first match of the season - a tournament match-up with a talented Nation Ford team - until the last week before region play begins, which included home-and-home matches against a strong Rock Hill group, the Warriors' schedule was loaded.
The team has no regrets, though, according to Head Coach Mark Bonda, and after working their way to a 3-4-2 record entering region play, with wins over larger schools including Chester and South Pointe, the Lady Warriors are right where they want to be.
"We've had some tough regular season games but the good thing is the kids have a really positive outlook. We only have our 1A schedule left so we'll really start to see some fair competition," Bonda said.
Senior defender Brooke Adams said she knows how talented her team is.
After a 4-1 loss against Rock Hill Wednesday, she said she thinks the group has gained valuable experience by playing against some of the area's most talented players and teams.
"Last time we played Rock Hill (March 25) we lost 6-0 and this time it was 4-1. It was a better game tonight, a more fair match," she said. "We're playing tough teams but we're doing well. I think we're in good shape and when we play smaller schools, we'll be ready for them."
Adams and the rest of the Warriors' defense were tested throughout the night by Rock Hill's aggressive offense, led by one of the most talented players in the state, junior Alex Ramsey, who has already signed to play Division I soccer at LSU after she graduates.
Although the Bearcats knocked in four goals, Warriors goalkeeper Brittani Kronquist and the defense stepped up against a barrage of attacks and made some impressive stops.
"I think we communicated well, especially during the second half. We were talking a lot - working as more of a unit," Adams said.
While the Indian Land defense was being tested, the offense struggled, unable to get a threatening shot off until late in the second half.
Two days earlier, the Warriors won 3-0 at South Pointe.
Kronquist had eight saves during the shutout, including one save on a penalty kick.
"She's had three shutouts this season...she's averaging about 15 saves a game," Bonda said about his keeper.
Sophomore Julia Greiner scored two of the Warriors' goals against South Pointe and sophomore Ashleigh Outen knocked in the third.
Second-year player Shelby McConnell scored Indian Land's only goal against Rock Hill, a shot off the goalkeeper's hands with seven minutes left to play.