Trojans boys soccer coach Don Boulden took to the field last Friday with a new squad. The team played Arbor View, a Division I team in a scrimmage and came out with a 3-3 tie.
Scrimmages are purely for practice — there are no officials and no official scores recorded.
Boulden is the third soccer coach in three years. He wants to revitalize boys soccer at the high school and bring it to the level it was in 2005, when the team was a state runner-up.
He feels the team is close to where it should be and he said the scrimmage went well.
“I went in a little heavy with a few extra players for varsity. We were making our final cut at that game,” Boulden said. “I announced that to the players so they were well aware what was at stake. Our goals were to play a mature game.
“You see a lot of soccer players — when they receive a ball they panic or just boot the ball away. They need to maintain composure and not get wrapped up into the other team’s pace of the game. It took us the first half to find our pace.”
The coach said the team let the other team drive the ball in the first half, but came out with some new-found energy in the second, which took him by surprise.
“In the second half we began to get a little winded in the beginning,” Boulden said. “Our goal was conditioning and technique and our strategy. To my enjoyment my team rallied back and caught them unaware and we played our own game.”
His team was down in the second half by 3-1.
“When you see them come back like that — it was awesome. When they scored the second goal, I thought, ‘Wow, we’re back in it.’ When we scored the third goal it was, ‘Yeah baby, we were moving.’”
After the third goal, the Arbor View coach with eight minutes to play had enough. It was his prerogative to stop the game, right?
Boulden said he would have loved to see how the game played out. “I would have risked the tie to see the end win or lose,” he said.
“When the coach called the game, I said to myself, ‘It’s alright buddy. I got your number.’ I feel we had them in our sights, but it was a good time to call it. It is a classy way to go out. Both teams worked hard.”
Who knows why the Arbor View team cut out so quickly. Perhaps he did not want his team to lose to a 1-A team or perhaps he had a root canal appointment.
Boulden agrees with the call, “It was his right to call because it was a practice game.”
The bottom line — the coach was proud of his team regardless of the outcome.
“They dug deep and found a rhythm and the momentum was ours. It was a good, entertaining game for spectators and also was a good measurement of what we could accomplish in Mesquite. We got to just keep working hard on our goals. These guys individually have a lot of talent, but one of their weaknesses is they have not played together as a team, so we are working on building that team,” he concluded.
The first official game for the Trojans is at the Mesquite Cup, a tournament which runs today and Saturday and should give the team some solid experience.