Under third-year head coach, Bryan Little, Westminster soccer improved from four wins to 11 in his first two campaigns. Anticipating a continuance to this upward trend, Westy soccer hopes to …
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Under third-year head coach, Bryan Little, Westminster soccer improved from four wins to 11 in his first two campaigns. Anticipating a continuance to this upward trend, Westy soccer hopes to breakthrough behind 14 seniors in 2019.
“You always expect a lot from your seniors,” Little said last week in a phone interview. “The boys hope to pick up where they left off last year, so hopefully we can just keep moving forward and prove to be a better team this year than we were last year.”
Winners of seven of their last nine regular-season contests, Westminster found their groove at the right time despite a 4-3 start to the year. Sneaking their way into the 5A state playoffs as a No. 28 seed, the Wolves gave No. 5, Legacy, all they could handle in the 1-0 defeat.
In a possession-based scheme, Little and his group anticipate ball-control all over the field. Maximizing their opportunities and shots on goal could prove the decider of whether Westy has similar success to last year when they averaged 3.4 goals per game in their wins.
Seven seniors left the Wolves’ program after the quality seasons, but with 77 percent of the returning roster being fourth-year athletes, this could be the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come. Attacker Elmer Valdez, defender Cesar Rios Ramirez, and goalkeeper Kevin De Anda will outline the class.
De Anda will be expected to do the heavy lifting in the back-end of the defense as Little has harped on the veteran’s ability to communicate with his teammates. Valdez is scheduled to make a significant leap in scoring for the Wolves this season with last year’s leading scorer Jorge Ramos (12 goals) graduated.
With all of the positivity surrounding this group, Little isn’t satisfied. The first-round exit in the postseason, according to Little, could be a learning tool for a team ready to prove doubters wrong this fall.
“Last year, I think the boys gained playoff experience after playing a little bit nervous when we faced that Legacy team. It was a good game, but our nerves definitely played a factor. So, having that experience last year, I think the boys can learn and it can help us go deeper into the playoffs this season. Even making just the first-round is good, but I think we can go further. My expectation this year is to go deeper into the playoffs,” Little said.
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