At the halfway point of the conference schedule, the Pueblo West boys soccer team is in good position to secure one of the two automatic playoff spots for the ninth consecutive season.
The Cyclones currently sit atop the league standings at 5-0, with impressive wins over Centennial (2-1 in OT), Central (10-0), South (5-1), County (7-2), and Canon City (2-0).
Coach Rex Harriman is very impressed by how his young team has come together in such a short time.
“These young men have worked extremely hard to learn and execute our possession game philosophy,” Harriman said.
“In soccer, it is much easier to play offense than defense.
“Since we are young, and we are not the biggest and most physical team, it is important for us to commit to possessing the ball, checking back often, and playing a strong team game.”
The team’s, and the league’s leading scorer, junior Jayden Moreschini, also emphasizes the need to maintain a high level of intensity and speed of play—the kind played by the best high school teams in the Springs and Denver.
Moreschini calls it playing “up-there soccer”, and he knows it is the style of play that wins championships.
Freshman mid-fielder, Michael Peters, and junior forward, Atem Nileng-Asong, are also on the league leaderboard with five and four goals respectively.
Senior midfielders, Sam and Jake Baxter, and junior forward, Willian Dos Santos are the assist leaders.
Dos Santos, also a place kicker on the Cyclones football team, has been sidelined for several weeks with a leg injury.
No doubt both teams will welcome his return.
The Cyclones sophomore ‘keeper, Trevor Emond, has stepped up in a big way.
Emond, who hardly played any organized soccer before this season, is leading the SCL with a 1.2 goals against average.
Give credit to Emond for his commitment and hard work, to his teammates for playing tenacious defense in front of him, and to the coaches for “coaching him up” in such a short time.
The Cyclones begin their second trip through conference play with the much-anticipated rematch against the Centennial Bulldogs this Saturday (Sept. 28) at 10:00 a.m. at Dutch Clark Stadium.
Centennial is just one game off the pace in the conference standings, with their only loss coming in overtime at the hands of the Cyclones.
If West can knock off the Dogs for a second time this season, they will clearly have the inside track for yet another conference title, and a chance to enjoy more “up-there soccer” in the playoffs.
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