FALL SPORTS PROFILE: Boys Soccer prepare for a new season
Coaches: Head Coach Kyle Hahn (2nd season), Will Bialecki (6th season) and Erich Wallace (4th season).
Overall: 3 wins/14 losses/3 ties
Conference: 0 wins/11 losses/1 tie
2016 Post Season: 5-2 regional semi-final loss to Ashwaubenon (1st round of playoffs)
Key Returners: Fritz Piepenbrok (senior), Hunter Wallace (junior), Mason Gebert (junior), Hayden Smith (junior), Brendan Root (junior)
Key Losses: Austin Zettler, Austin Burgener, Joe Ladewig, Zach Weix, Taylor Hipke
Key Newcomers: Zhane Barlor (senior), Ben Doyle (junior), Issac Sutton (freshman)
Coach Hahn Quotable: “2016 was a very peculiar season for the program. Our team had a lot of individual talent, but it didn’t always translate to a full 90-minute team performance. We had a rough go of it in the Valley with 11 of our 14 losses on the season coming from conference opponents. The season started well with solid wins against Pacelli and Anitgo, but we went on an 11-game winless streak through the end of September. A particularly tough loss came early in September against Wausau East in a conference game that was very winnable in my opinion. We gave away some sloppy goals, but managed to get ourselves back into the game with a couple of our own, only to have the game shortened due to lightning. The reverse fixture ended in a 0-0 draw later that month which earned us our only conference point of the season.
“Our first round playoff game against Ashwaubenon ended in a 5-2 defeat, but we played well in stretches and frustrated them for large portions in both halves. The fact that we scored two goals showed that we were more than capable of playing with them and I give our guys a ton of credit for never giving up. I could always count on them to fight and work hard until the final whistle blew.
“If I’m being completely honest, I’m expecting this season to be really tough. We lost 12 seniors and nine starters from last season’s team which means we only have a handful of returning players that have varsity playing experience. The jump from JV to varsity in soccer can be pretty drastic, so success on the scoreboard will be predicated on how quickly our newcomers can adapt to the physical, fast-paced nature of the varsity game. We have a competitive schedule that will test us from the start of the season and I imagine that our conference schedule will prove to be tough, as always.
“For me, wins and losses won’t matter nearly as much as how we’re performing day to day in practice and games. Are the guys giving their all, both collectively and individually, or are they taking shortcuts and giving in too easily? Are we taking information and lessons from practices and games and applying them at every given opportunity or do we exhibit bad habits and continue making the same mistakes over and over again? The level of focus and amount of effort each player brings to the field, whether we’re preparing in practice or competing in a game, will go a long way towards answering these questions and ultimately define our success as a team this season.
“This will be the program’s second year playing under the lights at Jay Stadium for home games. I think there’s always something special about night games and I know it will provide an excellent setting and atmosphere for our players and fans. I encourage everyone to get out to at least a couple of games this season to get behind the team and cheer us on!”