IT wasn't the upset win Souths had hoped for to start their 2022 Central West Premier League Hockey campaign, but they did get something of value out of their 3-0 loss to Lithgow Panthers.
Souths got the knowledge that when they are under pressure, their defence can hold firm against one of the best sides in the league.
After the two blues found themselves on the back foot at 2-0 down 10 minutes into Saturday's clash at Lithgow, they lifted. They held the Panthers out until the final minutes.
"Georgia Kearney our fullback, she really had a great game, so did Charlize Fitzpatrick, she's only one of our younger players and I thought she had a wonderful game," Souths coach Scott Hanrahan said.
"Our goalie Steph Hines, she really stepped up and saved some cracking attempts at goal. So those three players for me were probably our best.
"Their [Panthers'] midfield was really strong and they linked up well in the circle when they did get chances. But defensively for three quarters of that we really held them out, I thought we did a pretty fair job."
Panthers' strong start to the contest put Souths in the tough position of having to chase against the 2021 runners-up.
While they weren't able to hit the mark, what was pleasing for Hanrahan was that his side did create in attack.
The mission now is to covert more of those attacking passages into penalty corner opportunities - Souths only drew one for the match - and goals.
"We put together some really good passages of play where we put them under pressure," Hanrahan said.
"We just couldn't quite get the results we were after. We had a lot of chances down in their circle, we just didn't close out at times when we could.
"I'm definitely proud of the effort the girls put in, there were just a couple of errors we need to work on as a group."
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