With an older brother and older sister who excelled at golf, it might be surprising to learn that Kapaun Mount Carmel senior Thomas Wells preferred soccer.
If Thursday night’s game against Northwest is any indication, he probably is right where he belongs.
Wells scored four times before leaving with about four minutes to play, helping the Crusaders to a 5-0 victory at Stryker Soccer Complex.
“I played golf my freshman year, but then decided to play club soccer in the spring, too, and focus more on soccer,” said Wells, whose sister Katie and brother Matthew competed at state in golf at Kapaun.
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Kapaun (4-2-1, 2-1-0 City League) started slowly, and Northwest managed to limit its attack until the 22:15 mark of the first half, when senior Garrett Goodson got a shot up into a crosswind that carried it past Grizzlies goalkeeper Cameron Hoover.
“He had a great finish from the corner, put it in over the keeper and just bend it back post,” Wells said.
Then, 33 seconds before halftime, Wells got behind the Northwest defenders on a breakaway and put the ball past Hoover for a 2-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, Wells was able to take passes, getting to them with a short burst of speed, and beat Hoover three more times. The passing was similar to how a quarterback hits a streaking wide receiver, timing it precisely.
“I was just lucky my teammates put it in a perfect spot, just allowed me to run right onto it. They’re all great passers, and the thing is, I don’t care who scores the goals. Everyone gets the goals; we’re a pretty unselfish team, which is good.”
Wells said he has always had that burst of speed.
“When I was little, I was pretty quick,” he said. “I think it’s just in the family.”
Wells’ scoring ability Thursday made Kapaun coach Anthony Cantele’s job easier.
“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime-type player that you love to have,” Cantele said. “You don’t have to know anything about soccer to know that he’s a very dominant player in a lot of different areas.
“One of his best attributes is speed. He has good timing of his runs, too, so he isn’t caught offsides. It was pretty obvious that they have a guy marking him wherever he goes, so he’s going to be unselfish and go away from the ball, and that opens it up for somebody else.
“His movements, just how fast he is, to be fast and be able to move in an efficient way, a way that opens up other opportunities for other people, that’s the real weapon.”
Come winter, Wells will be on the Crusaders’ basketball team, where he hits well from behind the arc.
But soccer is his favorite, he said.
“I’ve always loved soccer,” said Wells, who is hoping to play college soccer. “If it happens, that would be awesome.”
Northwest coach Bobby Bribiesca was proud of his team’s play early.
“I thought we played very well the first 20 minutes,” he said. “We’re even with them, and I was happy, then all of a sudden they got two goals in the first half and we just couldn’t come back.”
He said his team is capable of playing better.
“We just didn’t play to our potential,” Bribiesca said. “We gave up five goals today, that’s an embarrassment. We didn’t play well at both ends, and they did. To give up five goals to anybody, that’s not Northwest.”
The road doesn’t get any easier for Northwest, which will play host to Bishop Carroll next Tuesday. Kapaun will return to Stryker to take on Trinity Academy on Saturday, then returns to City League action at home against Heights on Tuesday.
Northwest 0 0 – 0
Kapaun Mount Carmel 2 3 – 5
First half – 1. Kapaun, Goodson (McCully), 22:15; 2. Kapaun, Wells (Goodson), 39:27.
Second half – 3. Kapaun, Wells (Goodson), 5:59; 4. Kapaun, Wells (B. Dehner), 24:38; 5. Kapaun, Wells (Benedict), 34:28.
Shots – Northwest 3, Kapaun Mount Carmel 17. Saves – Northwest, Hoover, 7; Kapaun Mount Carmel, Chessmore, 3.