Rebels come back to earn first win

Sports Editor

Champlin Park head boys soccer coach Scott Dossett has told his team on multiple occasions that he cares less about the final score of a game than he does about the way his team played.

Champlin Park’s Drew Collins fights off a Park Center defender and chases down the ball during the Rebels’ 4-2 win over Park Center Aug. 29. (Sun Post staff photo by Chris Chesky)

While the Rebels got off to a slow start to the season, Champlin Park lost its first game of the season 5-3 to Hopkins Aug. 26, before falling behind 2-0 to Park Center Aug. 29.

Despite the slow start to the season, Dossett was pleased with how his team was playing and he told the Rebels to stay the course.

“I told them to keep doing what they were doing,” Dossett said. “We were unbalancing their defense and creating a lot of chances in the first half, but the goalie was lights-out.

“You can only make once-in-a-lifetime saves so many times, and he made a ton. I give him all the credit for keeping his squad in the game, and the goals that happened there’s nothing we could have done, nothing to worry about.”

Champlin Park began the second half strong, as Ahmed Awel scored just three and a half minutes into the half. Fadel Kabore then took advantage of a perfect play set-up to tie the game with 14:06 left, which later set up overtime.

In the second overtime period, Kabore fed Collins with a perfect pass that Collins knocked into the back of the net with a diving header.

“I just knew that it worked out for me in practice, I knew I could put it back post and I knew we needed a goal to win the game,” Collins said. “I had one of those last year, too.”

Kabore added an insurance goal with 46 seconds left.

“It feels amazing to get a win,” Kabore said. “We have been working so hard and we have been practicing for the past couple of days for this game and we came out and played as hard as we could.

“Like I have said before, we knew it was Park Center and we had to come out better than them.”

While Champlin Park ultimately got the win, Dossett was more pleased with how his team played in the second half.

“The result is something we’re far less worried about than how we played,” Dossett said. “We played solid efforts both games, but it’s the inability to finish, getting players in the proper spots so those aren’t saves and are goals.

“On defense we have to be proficient on set pieces and we gave up two on that. That’s where our focus needs to remain, but I give them credit for being poised and following the process.”

While the win is a good starting point, Dossett knows his team is still working toward the possibility of making a deep section run.

“We have a long way to go, we still don’t have a consistent lineup or a consistent roster,” Dossett said. “We’re still learning who we are, this is a new team for the most part, and we have to figure out players’ skill sets and the best way to maximize them.”

Champlin Park will play next against Spring Lake Park at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at Champlin Park High School.

Follow Sun Post sports editor Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris and on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.