Despite a 1-2 start to the 2018 season, Oneida soccer coach Phil Newport likes his team’s grit and effort, and is hoping the Lady Indians will continue to progress as they head into the heart of the season’s schedule.

“I love the fact that despite our graduation losses we have played commendable soccer,” Newport said after last week’s 1-0 loss to Anderson County. “I would like to lean on our experienced players until the others start to round into better form. This team has a little grit and when pushed they have been up to the task.”

Oneida, which was to have hosted Scott High on Tuesday, started the season with a 2-0 win at Corbin, Ky., but has since lost to Anderson County and Webb in non-district games.

Following Tuesday’s game, the Lady Indians are scheduled to face Campbell County and Clinton.

“Although the Lady Highlanders return more starters from last year’s team, I think we can give them a good match,” Newport said. “My kids are getting smarter and I pick up (Cydney) White in a few days which should make us better. I think we’ll be fine as long as we stay healthy.”

The 1-0 loss to Anderson County saw Oneida finish with 14 shots on goal, compared to Anderson County’s 15.

“After playing against Webb the previous night, it looked like our legs got a little heavy,” Newport said. “I thought we kept competing in the second half but the kids were pretty spent by the game’s end.”

That game against Webb saw the Lady Indians fall 4-1, with Webb’s Avery Catlett picking up a hat trick, with three goals. Sarah Morrow scored Oneida’s lone goal.

“I thought we played pretty well with the exception of allowing Catlett too much space to operate,” Newport said. “She can strike from pretty much anywhere and I think losing her in space set her up too many times. Obviously Webb is very sound, but had we done a better job in shoring up their key player, I thought the game was much closer than the score indicated. It was a good experience for our kids. Nobody likes losing but this game will improve us in the long run.”