Boys’ soccer struggles to start off strong in first half

Team recognizes its mentality needs improvement


Ava Ashby

Junior Danny Lainsbury runs to take the ball from the opposing team Oct. 1. Park won 3-2 against Bloomington Kennedy.

Anna Benishek

Reflecting on the boys’ soccer 3-2 win against Bloomington Kennedy Oct. 1, senior captain Alex Ruiz thought there were questionable choices during the first part of the game and the team wasn’t ready for the opponents’ skills. 

“We really underestimated them since we beat them the first time,” Ruiz said. “We came in there thinking it would be an easy win.”

Sophomore Amanuel Shetaye said the team played efficiently during the second half, but the first half was a sluggish pace for the team. 

“The game went well. We got the win obviously,” Shetaye said. “We did start off a little slow, we were losing basically the whole first half, and they had a lot of chances.”

According to assistant coach Pat Hartman, he believes the team could have had a better first half, however, he was satisfied with the end result. 

“The first half wasn’t awesome, we came out really strong at the end of the second half,” Hartman said. “Then we came off a little bit, but we were able to close out the game and get the win at the end.” 

Ruiz said he thought that this game didn’t reflect the team’s best work since Kennedy controlled most of the first half.  

“It was probably one of the worst games we have played all season,” Ruiz said. “We didn’t come out hard, and we let their play dictate the game. They pressed us at the start, and we had a hard time adjusting to them the entire game.”

Shetaye explains the team could improve on staying focused during warm-ups, so it can play consistently throughout the game.

“As a whole, our team could definitely come into games more focused because the first half was not good,” Shetaye said. “They had a lot of opportunities and we probably should have been losing going into halftime.”

Hartman hopes the team can be more determined at the beginning of the game and that it’s more alert for the next game. 

“I would like to see (the team) come out a little stronger,” Hartman said. “We were a little flat at the beginning of the game. Just a little more preparedness at the beginning.” 

Park will be playing their next game at 5 p.m Oct. 6 against Robbinsdale Cooper at Robbinsdale Cooper High School.