The varsity boys’ soccer team has suffered three consecutive losses, but coach Miguel Orduna insists that this is still a team with the potential to win.
“We’re starting to get more comfortable and break out of our comfort zone,” Orduna said. “We’re very young as a team. One of our biggest issues was last year a lot of our younger guys didn’t receive a lot of play. But even our sophomores and juniors are still getting exposure and are learning the aggressiveness, speed and multitude of things it takes to win. It was a shock for everybody out there right now, a big wave of reality I should say.”
The first of these consecutive losses came last week when the Wave lost 5-0 in their home match against Truckee, though not without a fight. While the Fallon strikers were unable to make more than a few breakaways throughout the match, freshman midfielder Adan Ugalde displayed incredible speed, leading the few breakaways the Wave managed to achieve against a widespread Wolverines defense.
The Wolverines scored the first two of five goals in the first half thanks to forward Manuel Sarabia, a junior who kept possession longer than any of his teammates, but he was fought by Wave sophomore Luis Orozco, a forward/midfielder who got the ball to Ugalde more than a dozen times in the span of a few minutes.
Matters only grew worse for the Wave, however, when fullback senior Dustin Hopkins was knocked down hard in the second half, leading to several minutes on his back while the team attended to him.
“He had the wind knocked out of him for the most part, and panic set in until he was able to catch his breath,” said Orduna, who stated the possibility of a concussion but gave no confirmation. “He’s kind of considered our utility player, and was able to play in the next two matches luckily.”
While Hopkins was out and Ugalde and the Wave were unable to follow through on any of their forward plays for long, newly goalie Michael MacCormack had a high save count with 12-18 saves throughout the match that attest to coach Orduna’s praise of the senior.
“He was a natural fullback, and very aggressive,” Orduna said, “He did a good job coming out of the post for the balls, which was something I told him would be needed. Other coaches have come forward since then and have commented on his excellent performance.
“We have a good team, the thing is we sort of have a bubble we’re trying to burst out of. The kids need to learn to be more aggressive and have to get used to the speed of a match. We do well at practices, which is great and shows we have what it takes, but it’s a matter of self consciousness.”
The Wave will be battling at South Tahoe on Saturday at noon and will hose Sparks on Sept. 23 at 5 p.m.