Archive for Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bonner Springs soccer squad looks for breakthrough in 2010

August 25, 2010

Bonner Springs was on the verge of a soccer breakthrough in 2009, but the Braves simply struggled to put the ball in the back of the net enough.

The result was a 9-8 record — many of the defeats by one goal — and a first-round exit from the Class 5A regional playoffs after a 1-0 loss to Gardner-Edgerton.

The Braves didn’t take that season-ending loss lightly. Instead, they used it as motivation during the offseason. Now, coach Mike Moulin’s club is ready to make some serious noise in 2010.

“This team has worked harder than I’ve ever seen them work before in the past,” Moulin said. “Their practice ethic is stronger than it ever has been.

“It’s hard to tell from your first game out how you’re going to do, but I know we have a lot of veterans on the team, a lot of leadership, skill and talent. I hope we can put it together and make a good season out of it.”

The Braves lost just four players to graduation, and so Moulin has plenty of experience to work with all over the field. In addition to their years of high school experience together, Moulin noted most of the players had been teammates at various levels since childhood. Simply put, the chemistry is good both on and off of the field.

Even so, Moulin was reluctant to name a starting lineup prior to the first game.

“I don’t want to divulge that, because I think if individuals know where they’re going to play then they might not work as hard,” Moulin said. “Everybody’s got an idea (who will start), but we’ve got some kids who’ve grown up, stepped up and gotten better who can push the older guys and make them work a little bit harder.”

One starter is well known, however. That’s goalkeeper Brett Steuart. He was the Braves’ starter last season, and Moulin said he is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the competition.

“Brett’s our number one guy back there,” Moulin said. “He takes on the younger guys and tries to develop them for me. He’s pretty solid back there, and he’ll work with those younger guys as hard as he can because he wants to see the younger program develop and get stronger as well.”

The Braves open the season at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against Tonganoxie. Moulin wants to see his team play well in all facets of the game, but in particular he wants to see a lot of goals. He said it would be a great way to set the tone after a year of missed opportunities in 2009.

“We probably took 150 more shots than the opposing team, and I’d like to see us put the ball in the back of the net more than we have in past years,” he said. “It would be nice to come out and put a ton of points up.”

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