With three sophomores, five freshmen and two coaches coaching high school soccer for the first time, the sky’s the limit for the 2008 Lindbergh soccer team.
Despite the inexperience, the Eagles have posted a 3-5 record, and sit in fifth place in the grueling Seamount League.
Stevens has already learned some valuable lessons that will make his job easier, and the team better, next year.
“I was really encouraged at the beginning of the season with the good turnout and the good attitudes,” Stevens said. “I only kept 35 this season, because that’s all I thought I had jerseys for. But by the time guys drop out because of grades, injuries and other stuff, I don’t have enough. So next year I’ll be keeping more.”
Stevens said he’d also like to play non-league games in the preseason next year to help get up to game speed before the Seamount regular season. Stevens will also change some aspects of his practice, including more detailed practice plans and schedules.
Stevens said he would like to see a change in philosophy at Lindbergh in regards to the soccer team. That means more spectators and a better field to practice on. Stevens understands his responsibility to make those things happen. “We’ve got to put a good team on the field,” he said.
Running with the top Seamount teams can be tough. “We just don’t have the size or speed to compete with the better teams right now,” Stevens said.
After the Eagles lost 2-0 to Renton on March 28, Stevens tried to slow things down for the team. “I just tried to simplify things, slow it down,” Stevens said. “There was a drastic turnaround, they just started playing like a team and passing like a team.”
In the next game, Highline beat Lindbergh 6-0, but Stevens said the score wasn’t indicative of how the team played and called it “our best game of the year by far.”
Key players for the Eagles this season will be Chris Werre, Dustin Stevens, Nate Reitz and Chris O’Hanlan.
Werre is a senior captain, playing his first season for the team. “We’d be lost if we didn’t have him,” Stevens said. Werre is home-schooled and Stevens convinced him to play for Lindbergh this season. Werre plays defense and pushes up to midfield when possible.
Dustin is a junior and Stevens’ son. Dustin has played a lot of club soccer and brings good experience to the squad.
Reitz is a sophomore and Lindbergh’s tallest player. “He’s having to play more defense than he wants to,” Stevens said. “But we need his size back there helping out.”
O’Hanlan is a freshman and Stevens called him a very hard worker with a bright future.
Lindbergh plays next against Hazen.
A look at the rest of the Seamount teams so far in 2008:
2-6 overall, 2-5, league
So far: The Wolverines have picked up wins over Renton and Tyee.
Playing a big role: Kenny Albright has six goals for Evergreen this year and is the only player with more than one goal.
Up next: Evergreen has Renton and Tyee left on the schedule, both teams they beat the first time around, so they could get to four wins in 2008.
So far: The Highlanders fell 0-1 to Kennedy, then tied the Lancers 0-0 the second time around.
Playing a big role: Senior Raymundo Pelayo has 10 goals, with two hat tricks (three goals) against Renton and Tyee. Dan Lucier and Drey Hicks have combined for five shutouts this year.
Up next: Highline and Mount Rainier are still on the schedule for Hazen.
So far: Despite a two-game streak against Mount Rainier and Kennedy, the Pirates are undefeated this season.
Playing a big role: Senior Marshall Kosaka has eight goals, including a hat trick against Evergreen, and five assists. Senior Nick Foutz has the team’s only two shutouts.
Up next: Games against Kennedy (2-0 loss the first time) and Hazen (2-1 win) figure to be the big tests remaining in the regular season.
So far: The Lancers opened the season with a non-league loss to Aubun Riverside, then won six in a row before falling 3-0 to Mount Rainier.
Playing a big role: Junior Jacob Ambrozic lead the team in assists with five, while senior Tony Armitage leads the team in goals with six. Senior Sean Miller and freshman Thomas Morrell have combined for five shutouts.
Up next: Kennedy plays Highline and Mount Rainier again, but the team did beat Highline 2-0 in the first meeting this year.
So far: The Rams sit atop the Seamount so far with just one loss. Mount Rainier started the year with seven-straight league wins before Highline beat the team 2-1.
Playing a big role: Sophomore Darwin Jones has been unstoppable at times. He scored five goals against Lindbergh and has three more hat tricks (three goals) against Evergreen, Renton and Hazen. Opposing defenses have held Jones scoreless just twice this season and he had a combined five assists in those two games. Jones has 18 goals and eight assists this season. Senior David Lugo has six shutouts this season, while sophomore Bryan Murray has three.
Up next: The Rams have three games that they should win before ending the regular season with two tough ones, Kennedy and Hazen at home.
So far: The Indians have played teams tough and picked up wins over Tyee and Lindbergh.
Playing a big role: Brandon Schaefer has two goals for the Indians. Luis Martinez and Martin Rojas each have a shutout.
Up next: Evergreen and Lindbergh are left on the schedule, so the Indians should be able to win one of those and pick up another win in 2008.
So far: The Totems picked up their first win this season 1-0 with a late goal over Renton.
Playing a big role: Jose River has a shutout. Frank Martinez has a goal.
Up next: Tyee’s best chance for another win this season is the season finale against Evergreen.
Adam McFadden can be reached at email@example.com or 425-255-3484, ext. 5054.
Eagles’ young players and first-time coaches learning on the fly this year in tough Seamount