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Injuries, lack of depth, plague boys soccer team

 

September 12, 2017



A shallow roster held back an injury-plagued boys soccer team as it opened its season in a 7-2 loss at Douglas High School Thursday evening.

“We had some injuries which really played into things,” said Coach Eric Stutzer.

The Huskies started the game with senior Rawlins Lupoli riding the bench from an off-field injury. His brother, senior Rowland Lupoli, went out with a complication from an off-field injury about 10 minutes into the game.

Senior Noah Webb was injured late in the game.

“The depth is the biggest issue for us,” Stutzer said. “We had a lot of first-year kids playing.”

Where they would normally be playing junior varsity, the stepped up and did well, he said. Freshman Jaxson Brown filled in on defense when Rowland Lupoli went off the field, and “he ended up doing pretty well.”

“I was very happy with (senior) Eric Blanchard,” Stutzer said. New to the team, he is raw, but he showed athleticism and leadership. “He had some key fouls late that cost us some penalty kicks (and two goals).”

That was because he was playing aggressive defense, Stutzer said.

Sophomore Austin Parrish stepped up too, Stutzer said, and scored a goal.

Sophomore Jarrett Owen shot a goal off the top of the box, Stutzer said. He played JV last year. This year, he’s worked hard and earned some varsity playing time.

“Kudos to Jarrett to come off the bench and score a goal,” Stutzer said.

Stutzer also praised first-year senior Luke Shiffert and exchange student Carlos Galvez, who is probably the best exchange student soccer players that Stutzer has seen.

The Huskies fell quickly out of the gate, trailing 4-0 15 minutes into the game.

Stutzer said they didn’t have much time to warm up and they came out flat, with a disorganized defense.

After 15 to 20 minutes, the Huskies were able to take some control and scored a pair of goals to trail 4-2 at halftime.

Douglas gave up a penalty kick to the Huskies in the early minutes of the second half, but the Huskies missed the shot.

The Huskies started hanging their heads, Stutzer said, and they gave up a penalty kick and goal to Douglas.

Douglas scored two more penalty kicks before the end of the game.

“It’s inexperience and lack of depth,” Stutzer said, noting that more than half of the players on the field were brand new to the team.

With so many new players, “coming together is going to be a big step,” Stutzer said.

The team will continue to cope with injuries into next week, Stutzer said. The injured will be out for a couple more weeks, although he’s hoping to have Rawlins Lupoli back on the field by Thursday.

Freshman Owen Towry handled keeper duties in the first half, Stutzer said. New senior Zech Brown played goalie in the second half. Both had a couple of good saves.

The first half had so many defensive issues that Towry couldn’t do much at the goal, Stutzer said. Brown had a good second half.

The JV lost a game 5-1 at Delphian Friday. Blanchard moved from defense Thursday to midfield Friday and scored a goal for the Huskies.

The whole team played well, an exceptional job, Stutzer said, and the score wasn’t a good reflection of just how well the Huskies did.

The Huskies were scheduled to play at Newport Tuesday and will travel to Elmira Thursday. They host Junction City at 7 p.m. Sept. 19.

Around the league, just Sutherlin have had a win since school started. Sutherlin and Sisters each lost two games, and Junction City lost three. Elmira and Sweet Home each lost a game, and Cottage Grove tied Philomath 0-0.

 
 

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