Yough boys soccer seeking improvement after 1-win season
The Yough boys soccer team managed just one victory and struggled in 2017, and coach Chris Duda will be the first to admit that.
The Cougars’ roster maxed at 13 players and at times finished games with just 10. Duda said the influx of freshmen and an extra year of experience from the upperclasses will bring a different mentality this season.
“We’re working towards getting things to mesh and getting things in order and positions figured out to get better,” he said.
“We’re going to get the freshmen adapted to our style. What’s great about this group is our heads are always high, win or lose. They’re gonna keep getting up and keep playing.”
Duda returns three of his four defenders with seniors Andy Kemerer and Ryan Patricio and junior Brandon Childers.
“They’re leaders on the team. ... It’ll all start with them,” Duda said. “They have to keep control of the ball and don’t let them dictate the play.
“They will also really start the offense by moving the ball forward up to our midfielders and strikers.”
One of the biggest differences in personnel will start with senior Austin Deutsch. Last season, Deutsch was the team’s leading scorer from the forward position. This year, Duda will move Deutsch back to midfield to utilize his versatility and ability to create in more space.
“We’ll use Austin for overlapping runs through the center,” Duda said. “He’s going to be able to make the play start, and hopefully get on the ends of them and finish them off with crosses and runs through the center of the field.”
Deutsch said he relishes the chance to help the team improve in any way he can.
“It doesn’t matter to me where I play or as much about scoring goals as long as I’m helping this team out as I can and playing my role as captain,” he said. “I want to lead this team and hopefully get things going.”
Duda said he’s going to rely heavily on the upperclassmen, many of whom experienced the excitement of playoff soccer as freshmen three years ago. He’s already noticed the leadership they’ve shown by pulling the freshmen aside throughout camp and sharing valuable knowledge of the varsity level.
“With these new freshman coming on, we’re hoping to teach them to the best of our ability to get used to the routine we play in high school soccer and get them to that level to just work all around as a team and bring us together as one,” Deutsch said. “They’ve come a long way from camp.
“We started out slow because they weren’t used to it, but it gradually improved, and right now we’re moving together as a team.”