With 11 freshmen, albeit very talented freshmen, veteran Homestead girls soccer coach Rich Dorn knew that there would be ups and downs this season.
And he was right. The season has been an occasional quagmire for the Highlanders marred by soggy, cold and stormy weather plus some occasionally difficult losses.
There have been some high points, an even-better-than-it-looked 1-0 defeat to North Shore rival and top-ranked Cedarburg.
And then something even better, something he feels his young group can build around and take into the future as a point of confidence and capability.
A 2-1 victory over rival and then third-ranked Whitefish Bay on May 14.
Roller coaster season
'Oh my, I tell you, what a roller coaster it has been,' Dorn said, 'and I hate roller coasters (laughs). We've just been so up and down as young as we are. But our real colors have shown up lately. This was a really complete game. We were in sync throughout.
'What made it work, is that we've finally identified our style, what makes us unique. It is that we have to play quickly. With that, we have some midfield challenges to correct, but we are feeling good with where we are.'
The Highlanders should, as after a 2-1 loss to nonconference foe Wauwatosa East on May 16 they stand at 6-6-2 overall, while Bay (8-4-2) ran into even more hard times Friday, unable to control a 2-0 halftime lead in falling to Waukesha West, 4-2.
The Blue Dukes took on rival Nicolet on Tuesday and Brookfield East on Wednesday while Homestead challenged fourth-ranked Germantown on Tuesday and host Port Washington on Thursday, in a pair of North Shore Conference tilts.
Bay actually took the lead in the Homestead game just six minutes in on a Jana Maxwell goal, but the Highlanders did not flinch, as at the 34-minute mark junior Shannon Greeley found the back of the net to tie the score for the Highlanders.
Then in the 63rd minute, the Highlanders broke through to take the lead as not surprisingly, it was one of the freshmen, Coco Wiencek, found the back of the net for the eventual game-winner.
Focus is key for team
Dorn was very pleased with the rally.
'It was very rewarding to see us pull things together,' he said. 'The technical, the tactical, the focus. Especially the focus, because we are so young it's sometimes hard to stay in a game psychologically and emotionally.
'It's just a huge learning curve for all of them.'
Among those praised by Dorn were junior Mikaella Sabinash, Greeley, Wiencek and junior Kaelee McIlwraith.
'All of them stepped up and brought a lot of intensity,' he said.