Numbers matter in sports, and in soccer the number of players on the field is especially important. Unfortunately for the Hutchinson/Glencoe-Silver Lake boys soccer team, they’re feeling the affects of playing against teams with deeper benches.
“It’s tough because if someone gets injured or can’t play for a game, it’s harder because we have 11 or maybe 12,” senior captain Ben Wehseler said.
“We have a good core group of about 11, but that’s it, no subs,” senior captain Cole Forcier said. “So we have to learn to conserve energy.”
Conserving energy is especially important at this point in the season. Not only are the Tigers in the middle of their campaign, they also had to play five games in the past six days, from last Thursday to Tuesday with only one break on Sunday.
Despite the tough schedule, Hutch continues to work on getting better and not making excuses.
“I’m not going to blame it for all of our losses,” Wehseler said about the team’s numbers, “but it would help a lot.”
After a 2-3 start to the season, the Tigers lost four straight games this past week, including a 13-2 loss to Holy Family, 5-2 against Rockford, and 7-0 against New Ulm. The loss Friday to the Rockford Rockets was especially difficult, as Hutch had hoped to pick up its second Wright County Conference win this season. The Tigers are currently 1-3 in the WCC and 2-7 overall before they played games Monday and Tuesday.
In Friday’s loss the Tigers fell behind early and could never quite catch up. Every time they scored a goal to close the gap, Rockford answered. The Rockets went up 2-0 early in the first half until Eddie Tristan netted Hutch’s first goal of the game. Five minutes later, however, Rockford got that goal back for a 3-1 lead at halftime.
The Rockets were the first to score again in the second half. When Wehseler scored a goal to make it 4-2, Rockford again answered about two minutes later, keeping Hutchinson at bay.
“I think we need to work a lot on our counterattacks,” Wehseler said after the loss to Rockford. “We possessed the ball up the field and then we would lose it, and they counterattacked really well. That’s one of the main problems I see.”
While it’s been a difficult season, the Tigers are keeping their heads up and hoping they can at least match last year’s 3-7-2 record.
“You do want to win a couple more and keep that record closer to .500, obviously,” Forcier said.
Rockford 5, Hutchinson 2 (Sept. 24)
Rockford … 3 2
Hutchinson … 1 1
Goals: Eddie Tristan 1, Ben Wehseler 1
Assists: No assists
Saves: Leo Gil 10/15