Boys soccer aims to build upon last year’s playoff experience

EMILY WRIGHT

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As fall sports are coming to a close and winter sports are beginning, varsity boys soccer prepares for their season ahead coming off of an 11-4-6 season last year.

In each loss the Tigers were defeated by just one goal, and five of the six ties consisted of a 0-0 score.

Team captain Austin Wehner hopes to continue this hard-working mentality though this season.

“To ensure success, we will train very hard and bring more intensity than the other team to every game,” Wehner said.

Through this season, Wehner aims to sustain individual growth of his teammates and the team as a whole.

He believes this is essential especially considering their overall goal to participate in playoffs this winter season.

“This year I hope to bring leadership and chemistry to the team and with these things I hope for it to lead to more wins and better team and individual performances,” Wehner said. “This year I believe that our team will make it to playoffs and hopefully we finish the season as one of the top three teams in our conference.”

Coach Pablo Gutierrez recognizes how the captains have stepped up and what they have put into the team so far this season.

“Our team captains are displaying such a commitment to help the new players,” Gutierrez said. “It is exciting to watch them interact with the rest of the players giving advice and direction.”

With the loss of 13 seniors from the 2016-17 season, the team looks to rebuild and fill some of the positions lost. The team has strategically turned to few underclassmen to hopefully add depth to their roster.

Last year’s team consisted of two goalkeepers, but both were seniors. Gutierrez was able to take a freshman goalkeeper along with a freshman defender this year and, according to Gutierrez, both athletes have had no problem adjusting to the game at this level.

“Our goalie and one of our central defenders are freshmen but they are playing with such confidence that you won’t notice any age difference,” Gutierrez said. “They deserve to be commended every minute they play. They are doing an outstanding job.”

Gutierrez has already recognized the ability of the team to work together despite the loss of those key players.

“We lost great players from last year,” Gutierrez said. “However this new team is displaying a very team-oriented brand of soccer. They are committed to work as a group rather than depending on two or three players.”