Willard boys soccer opens season with win over Osage

The Willard High School boys soccer team traveled to Sedalia Aug. 30-31 to take part in their tournament and came home with a second place finish.
Willard fell to Sedalia Smith-Cotton in the tournament championship, 2-0, on Aug. 31.
“Playing the third game in 24 hours is always sketchy but expected in a tournament,” said head coach Tim Magee. “It really becomes a battle of attrition and who is going to make the fewest mistakes on worn out legs. Trevor Highely played very well in the goal but we just didn’t have the legs to keep him from being tested as much as we would like. Down 1-0 we fought back and had a couple of legit scoring chances in the second half but just couldn’t put it in the back of the net. Soon after, they got their second goal and we just couldn’t get our feet back underneath us. Overall, it was a good tournament for us and a good way to start our season.
The Tigers reached the championship game by defeating Oak Grove 3-1. Joseph Lupescu scored twice and Chris Doyle added the other goal. Caleb Kuchta and Will Johnson each had an assist in the win.
“We saw some really good things as well as things we need to continue to work on,” said Magee. “We did have to fight through adversity when Oak Grove tied the game at 1-1 in the second half. They grabbed momentum rather dramatically, yet we fought back and were able to put in two more goals to put the game away. I always like to see a team persevere and fight back when the opposing team has taken the control of the game.”
Willard opened the tournament with 3-0 win over Osage. Ben Roggensees, Kuchta and Lupescu each scored in the win. Luke Christensen, Will Johnson and Lupescu all had an assist in the game.
“It was a good win to start the tournament,” said Magee.”The play overall was not beautiful but there were glimpses and that’s what we were hoping for going into it. We possessed the ball well when we focused on playing simple and didn’t when we dropped into bad habits. We want to be more consistent in playing simple and that will hopefully come with time and repetitions. Anytime you can play your first game of the season with so many new faces and you get the win, you have to be thankful.”
The Tigers were scheduled to host Webb City on Tuesday, Sept. 3.


Lawrence County Record

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