Boys soccer gains traction for state tournament

Although the NS boys soccer team had a rough start to the season, they have seen vast improvement and plan to go far in the upcoming state tournament.

 

“At first we struggled because we weren’t talking and we weren’t playing together,” freshman Luis Rodriguez said.

 

After losing all of their preseason games, the team started to connect during their first region game against Canyon View. The game ended with a narrow overtime win for Canyon View, 3-2.

 

“When we played Canyon View at home, we played decent, but we didn’t play well,” senior Kelton Christenson said. “If we play well we can beat any team in the region.”

 

Continuing to improve, the team went on to win their next three games against Carbon, Juab, and Richfield.

 

“I changed the formation from past years and definitely tried something new,” head coach Julio Tapia said. “Their chemistry has grown quite a bit from where we started.”

 

However, the mental aspect of any sport can make or break a game, even if the skill is there. The team suffered another loss in Canyon View, losing their chance at a region title.

 

“The biggest issue we had was nerves. Everybody was very nervous, the pressure was too high and we couldn’t adjust,” Tapia said. “That mental part of the game definitely hurt us and we couldn’t recover.”

 

Despite this loss, they have been working hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again. They went on to win against Richfield and Carbon last week. On Wednesday, April 26 the team will play Juab, and on Friday they have an alumni game. The first round of state playoffs is on May 4.

 

“I’m very happy with their progress and there’s more to come here in the next two weeks,” Tapia said.

 

The boys are looking to finish the rest of their games with wins and finish second in region, which will give them a home game going into the state tournament.

 

“When we connect passes well, we control the middle and other teams can’t keep up with us,” senior Justin Bowles said. “It just depends on if we show up and play the game we know we can.”

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