WICHITA, Kan.—With a five game winning streak and ‘Titan Classic champions’ medals hanging proudly from their necks, the season was off to a great start for the Northwest boys soccer team. No one had expected the team to do so well as compared to last year’s undefeated state champions, a team that included 13 seniors.
“I told them from day one that this year we have a different team,” said Head Coach Bobby Briebiesca. “What has not changed for Northwest is tradition. We always give 100 percent. Pride, respect and excellence are always shown on the field.”
“We were off to a great start, and we had every chance to win,” Briebiesca said. “The sad thing about our losses is that they’ve all been city league games.”
For senior Jake Carter, who Briebiesca said is “probably the best defender in the league,” it has been difficult to move on from the accomplishments of the past.
“At the beginning of the season, it wasn’t very hard [to move on],” Carter said. “[When] we picked up a few losses I became a little frustrated, sometimes wishing I was still playing with last year’s team.”
A couple wins and a comeback against Manhattan last week revived Carter’s hope for the team. As the season progresses into the post season, his leadership and experience will be necessary for the team to advance.
“I try to stay positive as much as I can,” Carter said. “We have dealt with some inconsistency, the team’s performance as a whole. The season went on though, and most recently I am very proud playing with these guys we have now.”
The players realize that each one of them must put forth their best effort if they want a chance to advance to state. Sophomore Landon Arensberg thinks that the way to do this is to put the losses behind them and work as a team, rather than as individuals.
“Teams that we play in the post season are going to be a lot tougher than the teams we play now. We have to get in the mindset that not every team we play is going to be a walk in the park,” Arensberg said.
Northwest’s next game is at 7 p.m. Monday at Maize.