According to Nevada Wonders' General Manger Randy Roser, the days of blowing his team out are over.
"I think we'll be in every game the rest of the way," said Roser, who watched his team get outscored 22-2 in the first five games of the season. "I don't know if we'll win the next two or three games in a row. I'd like to, but we're not going to lose games like we were in the beginning of the season."
The truth of that statement will be put to the test tonight when Nevada (1-7-1) plays the surging Southern California Seahorses tonight at 7:30 at the Carson High soccer field. The two teams played to a 1-1 tie on May 10 in Carson City, which ended the Wonders' four-game losing streak to start the season.
Since then, though, both teams have showed vast improvement. Nevada picked up its first win of the season last Friday with a 3-0 win over the BYU Cougars and is coming off a 3-0 loss to the first-place Fresno Fuego on Sunday.
"We played really well against Fresno," Roser said. "We outshot them. It was just one of those games where the score really didn't show how close the game was. All three goals were just stupid mistakes. Soccer is a cruel game sometimes."
Southern California (4-2-2) has gone 4-1-1 since the tie with the Wonders, including an impressive win over the Utah Blitzz of the Pro Select League. The Seahorses, who won the Western Conference playoffs last season before losing in the PDL national semifinals, are coming off a 4-1 win last weekend over the talented Orange County Blue Star.
That win moved Southern California into second place in the Southwest Division standings, two points ahead of Orange County. Nevada's win over BYU moved them into fourth place and pushed the Cougars into last place. So what's happened to the Seahorses, a team that looked very beatable over a month ago in Carson City?
"We saw the Blitzz were missing some of their top players when they lost to the Seahorses, but I also know the Seahorses were missing some of the top younger players who could've made a difference the first time we played them," Roser said. "Really it doesn't matter. We have our team set and we're really settling down. The guys are understanding how (coach) Paul (Aigbogun) wants them to be playing. We're just getting more of an attack now. Before we didn't have any attack and that hurt us."
Southern California, which is in its third season with the PDL, is led offensively by Matthew Hess and Jason Hotchkin. Both players lead the team with four goals. The Seahorses played the California Gold of the PSL on Friday night in Modesto, Calif. The score was not available at press time.
Southwest Division Standings
Team W L T GF GA PTS
Fresno 9 2 0 31 12 27
So Calif. 4 2 2 16 14 14
Orange Cty. 4 3 0 17 15 12
Nevada 1 7 1 5 28 4
BYU 1 6 0 11 23 3
BYU vs. Fresno, 8 p.m.
California Gold vs. Southern California, 8 p.m.
Nevada vs. Southern California, 7:30 p.m.
BYU vs. Fresno, 7:30 p.m.