Slow start doesn’t deter soccer team
by Nick Clark
Sun POST Newspapers
The process is ongoing for the Champlin Park boys soccer team, and that alone has alleviated any concern head coach Scott Dossett might have with the Rebels’ results thus far.
Champlin Park lost 2-1 at Maple Grove Sept. 12, dropping the overall record to 2-4 a year after both the Rebels varsity and junior varsity went the entire regular season without losing even once.
Yet, regardless of the outcome in the four losses the Rebels have already experienced, Dossett insists his plan is still firmly on track.
“I am very comfortable with where we are at,” said Dossett. “I wish the results reflected with how we are playing, but most of what we are not doing comes down to details and execution, and both are things we can work on in training.”
Training sessions have been hard to come by for the Rebels. Be it weather forcing practice to be cancelled, or a game schedule that had Champlin Park play three times before school was even in session, the opportunities to practice have been limited.
That has left the team in the unenviable position of having to work through things in actual games, which in turn has limited their ability to win at the rate the Rebels had hoped.
The most notable area of concern has come off free kicks. Prior to a first half goal against Maple Grove last Thursday, each marker Champlin Park has yielded this fall has come off free kicks.
“We haven’t been great on dead balls, but those are mistakes we can fix,” said Dossett. “It is just getting the training time to get that down. But if you negate those goals, we wouldn’t have lost a game yet.”
Each of the four losses have been by a single goal – 2-1 at Woodbury Aug. 22, 1-0 vs. Park Center Sept. 3, 1-0 at Centennial Sept. 10 and then 2-1 at Maple Grove last Thursday – meaning the Dossett’s theory of just how close Champlin Park is to turning a corner could be spot on.
He also believes that by seasons end the fitness of the group will pay dividends.
It nearly did against Maple Grove.
The Crimson scored the only goal of the opening half, then made it 2-0 on a penalty kick six minutes into the second half. Champlin Park pulled within 2-1 on a penalty kick chance of its own that A.J. Gardner made good on, and the Rebels controlled play from then.
Sophomore Qomo Atomsa nearly evened the score when his shot bounded off the near post, and Gardner had another close in chance as well.
“We are getting opportunities, we just have to learn how to finish them,” said Dossett. “That has been a challenge, but with our guys, most of them play defense on their summer teams, so they are just now learning how to play on the front end. It’s going to have to be a group effort.”
As a group, the team has scored just six goals in its six games.
Again, the hope is training corrects the ailment.
“It is all about repetition,” said Dossett.
Contact Nick Clark at [email protected]