The first game of the season in any sport usually invokes some kind of nerves or jitters.
If the LUHS boys’ soccer team was experiencing either of those in their season opener Tuesday night against Washburn, they sure weren’t showing it.
The T-Birds scored six goals in the first half and added four more in the second as they started off their promising 2014 campaign with an easy 10-0 win at the LUHS soccer field.
“I thought we played a smart game, kept the ball wide and had a lot of nice crosses,” coach Rhonda Maulson said.
The T-Birds had seven different player score and eight different players registered assists in the contest.
Michael Laurence scored two goals within two-and-half minutes of each other early in the first half, both assisted by Riley Neri. Neri added his third assist of the game at 12:10 when Wyatt Bauer redirected Neri’s pass into the net.
Dennis Harris added a goal at the 31:10 mark on an assist from Zach Carlson, Brandon Garcia scored on a penalty kick at 36:50, and a Harris header on a corner kick from Garcia at 39:45 made it 6-0 at the half.
“At halftime we talked about playing a smart game, keeping possession and not falling into bad habits,” Maulson said. “We had players that could beat the defense in one-on-one situations, but we needed to keep our focus and work together as a team.”
Neri added two goals in the second half, Kyle Wuestenhagen added the third and freshman Kieran Mullen scored his first career high school goal at 40:00 to set the final score.
“This was a good game to get in before conference play,” Maulson said. “We had a few players out of position at times, so we were able to work on that.”
Maulson was happy with her team’s start to the season, and she says the key is to stay healthy as LUHS plays four games over the next three days, including a tournament his weekend in Rhinelander.
“We have nine returning varsity players from last year’s team and it was evident as I thought we picked up where we left off last season,” Maulson said. “The key to the next four games will be to stay healthy. We have four games in three days to end this week, and that is a lot of soccer this early in the season.”
Evan Wixom may be reached at email@example.com.