WICHITA, Kan.—After a narrow win against Wichita Northwest, the Kapaun Mount Carmel boys soccer team earned another victory against Wichita Heights Thursday, to make its record 3-0 in city league and 6-3 overall. Members of the team said the win against Northwest was a big confidence builder; a confidence carried into the game against Heights.
“It definitely lifted us up,” senior Ian Daley said. “[After that game] we were looking forward to playing again.”
“Overall as a team, in the first half we kind of struggled,” Daley said. “In the second half we possessed the ball really well.”
Kapaun came out strong in the second half, scoring three more goals to win 5-1.
“We finished on a couple long shots and we defended pretty well,” Coach Alan Shepherd said. “Ian Daley played well up top and gave us a cushion when he scored the fourth goal. Everyone played consistently well.”
Playing in front of a large home crowd also added to their level of confidence, senior Jake Dreiling said.
”We love the support. It makes the atmosphere better,” Dreiling said. “We play with a lot more adrenaline when we hear that crowd roaring. It really gets us going.”
Despite a win, Shepherd says the team still has a lot to work on in order to keep moving forward for the rest of the season.
“We need to work on connecting passes with our forwards and our midfielders,” said Shepherd. “Our midfielders and forwards need to play together better and connecting some passes out of the back and better possession. We played more as individuals than I’d like. I’d like to play more as a team.”
The Crusaders are off to a strong start with a city league record of 3-0, but Shepherd says this is just the beginning for his team.
“I don’t think we’re near as good as we’re going to be,” Shepherd said. “We’re still improving. We’re going to be a really good team towards the end of the season.
In the next seven games of the season, the team hopes to continue to improve, eventually winning city league and doing well at state.
“Our ultimate goal is a state title,” Dreiling said. “We have our eyes set on that, but we just have to take it one game at a time.”