The continued improvement of boys soccer at Bishop Carroll has reached a Class 5A ranking and a 7-1 start.
Two seasons ago, the Eagles won their region and went to the state quarterfinals. Last season, the team won 10 games for the first time in school history.
“I don’t set goals of winning this many games, winning league, going to state,” Carroll coach Mike Skaggs said. “I think if we just focus on being better players every day and a better team every day, then all that stuff will happen.”
The team has 11 seniors. Experience has been for the Eagles, especially in creating scoring opportunities.
Cesar Ramirez leads the offense with seven goals, but goals also have come from Clayton Carron, Daniel Ohm, Alex Morgan and more. Kole Lopez has led the midfield and contributed a number of assists.
“(Ramirez) leads the team in scoring, but we’ve got a lot of depth that can score. Shutting down one guy doesn’t mean shutting down the team,” Skaggs said. “It’s a good problem to have. In years past we only had a few guys that can score, but this year our midfielders can score, a couple of our defenders have goals. One of our strengths is the balance that we have.”
Goalkeeper Luis Fernandez, a junior, has also been sharp. In front of Fernandez is a flat three defensive formation with Alex Brewer in the middle and Conner McGreevy and Matt Price on each side. As a team, Carroll has scored 23 goals and allowed four.
“It starts back there with (Fernandez),” Skaggs said. “… He kind of holds everything for us in the back.”
Losing early helps Rose Hill — Rose Hill is in Class 4A, but its size did not discourage it from facing 5A and 6A opponents in the season-opening Titan Classic. The Rockets lost two of three games, to Great Bend and Salina Central.
But Rose Hill (6-2) has not lost a game since and is ranked fifth in Class 4-1A.
“Playing the tough competition really sets you up for the postseason,” Rose Hill coach Jerry Treat said. “We play as many 5A and 6A schools as we can. We look forward to playing the bigger schools, because it gives us an opportunity to test ourselves.”
Treat used the Titan Classic to understand his team and make position changes. After Treat moved senior Brandon Aubuchon to center back from the midfield, Rose Hill saw significant differences in its defensive organization.
Midfielder Austin Dinkel has eight goals and forward Czyz Taylor is also a top scorer. Senior Colton Helton has added strength to the midfield, playing the role of a holding midfielder.
“I think we’re always a threat in 4A because of our tradition,” Treat said. “This is one of our rebuilding years and we’re 6-2. That’s better than I thought we’d be at this point.”
Kapaun snaps Northwest winning streak — After winning 26 consecutive games, Northwest lost to Kapaun 1-0 on Tuesday. The Crusaders scored with less than a minute remaining in the first half, when Ian Daley dribbled the ball down the goal line and slotted a shot past the Northwest goalkeeper.
“We were confident going into the match, as we are an improved team from the beginning and starting to get previously injured players back into the lineup,” Kapaun coach Alan Shepherd wrote in an e-mail.
When the two teams met in the Titan Classic, Northwest won 1-0.