Boys’ soccer faces first loss of the season

Claire Bargman

Junior Nicholas Riley, captain for the varsity boys’ soccer team said the team stayed focused against Washburn, and the loss will give them a new edge for future games.

“I thought we fought hard the whole game, we took the number one team in the state into overtime,” Riley said. “I think we have to keep our heads up going into sections because we learn a lot from losses, and I don’t want to jinx it, but hopefully we’ll see them again in the section finals.”

Park faced the Washburn Millers Oct. 6 and lost 1-2 in overtime. After Washburn scored, Riley scored in regular play. The team then went into overtime and Washburn scored with three minutes left of the game. Park remains fifth in class 2A and Washburn remains first.

Coach Chato Alvarado said the team did not play how they usually do. He said it is typical to feel disorganized when playing good teams.

“We didn’t play as well as we could’ve because sometimes it works that way,” Alvarado said. “They are a really good team, so it makes it harder, but that’s when you actually need to pay attention, you have to figure out what you’re going to do with the ball before you get it.”

Senior Leo Finley, who plays goal keeper, said he wishes the team could have kept their momentum from Riley’s goal, going into the last parts of the game.

“Towards the end of the game, I think we really settled into a rhythm after Nick scored his goal, but it’s a shame we couldn’t translate that into overtime,” Finley said.

Finley said Washburn brought a new intensity to the game that impacted Park’s style of play.

“I would say we need to work on more possession because we were a little shook up by the high press,” Finley said.

Riley said the team kept up a good work rate, but he said he wants the team to improve on controlling the ball when under pressure.

“I think we played them really tough and we were fighting until the very end. I think we gave the ball away a little more than we would like to, so we’ll touch up on that,” Riley said.

Alvarado said  predicting the other teams plays and knowing what you will do next is key in this type of game. He said this is something they plan to work on.

“We need to anticipate a little better because they beat us on a lot of 50-50 balls,” Alvarado said. “There were many times we played the balls to the forward and they were just waiting for the ball.”

Alvarado said the Washburn game was a tough loss, but games like these will help the team progress and get into a good mentality for upcoming section games.

“They just gave us medicine, it was a really bad tasting medicine, but it’s bringing us down to earth. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be very difficult to get out of the section,” Alvarado said.

Assistant coach Daniel Vargas said losing keeps the team humble and leaves them wanting more so they know what to improve on.

“Sometimes losing is good because you get a little taste of defeat and when you lose you can easily learn what to fix,” Vargas said.

Vargas said this game was like any other big game, the team was mentally ready to play, but felt intimidated by the highly ranked team.

“We felt prepared but a little nervous because we knew the other team had so many good players,” Vargas said.

The boys’ first section game date and time is soon to be determined.