Boys soccer splits games on the pitch


Last updated 10/3/2023 at 10:39am

Photo by Olivia Kennedy

Logan Ryba has been strong in goal for the Outlaws.

The boys soccer squad posted a 4-0 sweep at home against Siuslaw on Tuesday, September 26, and at home two days later fell 1-2 to Santiam Christian.

Sisters has been working to start their matches with a greater sense of purpose, focus, and urgency, and they did just that in Tuesday's action against the Vikings. They set the tone early and established cohesive and connected play in the midfield.

Coach Jeff Husmann said, "When we establish control in the midfield, play selflessly, and work for each other, good things happen."

At the 12-minute mark sophomore center back Jesse Polachek made a run through the middle of the pitch, and played a smart pass off to Cooper Merrill. Merrill made the assist to Vincent Christian for the score.

Husmann said, "Jesse is wise beyond his years, a smart and solid player, and knows when to move forward into an offensive position."

Ten minutes later Danny Benson scored with a well- timed run and crisp assist from Carson Bell.

Husmann told The Nugget that Bell has great vision and an impressive work rate, is always involved and tuned into the match, and involves his teammates, which raises the Outlaws' collective quality of play.

At the half the Outlaws were on top 2-0.

Early in the second half the Outlaws took the wind out of the Vikings' sails. Sisters exhibited great transition play, quick decision making, and their unified play resulted in scoring opportunities. Bell gained possession of the ball in the Outlaws' defensive half, made a smart pass to Christian, who made the assist to Benson's second goal, which took the Outlaws' to a 3-0 advantage.

With eight minutes left on the clock, Benson scored for a hat trick off a Bell assist.

"Danny's (Benson) work rate and movement off the ball, and the midfield's ability to possess the ball created simple opportunities to score," said Husmann. "It's not about an individual, but the group believing in a shared purpose.

"One thing I love about this team is how tight-knit they are," added Husmann. "They are not necessarily best friends, but when we talk as a team and have open communication about the good of the team, there is no ego and they are just together with a shared purpose. That is pretty awesome and rare."

On Thursday against the Eagles the Outlaws were short a couple of their starters, which Husmann noted changed the energy of the team. At the four-minute mark the Outlaws' defense miscommunicated and Santiam Christian's player burst through and drilled the ball past the keeper.

A few minutes later the Eagles scored on a similar play and quickly put the Outlaws down 0-2. Sisters started to link up their passes and play with energy about 20 minutes into the contest.

Husmann said, "I commend the boys for not panicking, but we have got to figure out how to start the game with energy. Going into the half, we knew we were the better team and that if we could get one goal we could change the dynamic of the game. We were getting penetration through their back line but our shot selection wasn't what it needed to be. We got away from our game plan and played too direct, which made it easy for their defense.

"Though it was a tough loss, there are many positives from individuals," added Husmann. "I'm really quite pleased with the work rate and aggressive play of juniors Danny Benson and Andrew Islas. Likewise, seniors on this team have really helped create a supportive culture. This is particularly important when we have tough losses like this. Let's hope this is the wake-up call and that we make the adjustments and move forward. I love this group of boys and am confident that we will improve from this loss."

Sisters was to play at La Pine on Tuesday, October 3. They will host Crosshill Christian on Thursday.


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