Point well taken
A big win over Stevens Point showed the exciting potential of the Tigers soccer team
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield coach Steve McCann said this year’s Tigers boys soccer team, although largely inexperienced on the varsity level, has the potential to be very good.
On Tuesday that potential was realized as the Tigers blanked Stevens Point 4-0 on the road to win their first game of the season.
Stevens Point, regarded as one of the favorites to win the Wisconsin Valley Conference this season along with D.C. Everest, had five shutouts in six games before the Tigers rolled into town.
The Tigers are now 1-3-1 overall and 1-2 in conference.
After being shut out in its first two games, Marshfield has seemingly found its offense.
The Tigers scored twice in a 5-2 loss to Wausau West on Sept. 3, exploded for a season-high four goals in the win at Point, and then bested that mark by scoring five goals in a losing effort against Wisconsin Rapids Thursday.
“I tend to be defensively oriented, but we have kids that can score,” McCann said. “I think I need to unleash them a little and see what they can do. I have been trying to find balance with putting some of those kids back on defense, but I think I may need to let these kids loose.”
Marshfield lost 17 seniors from last year’s team that finished 10-8-4 overall and 5-4-3 and finished fourth in the Valley.
While some players return with varsity experience from a year ago, the majority of the team does not. The Tigers have 11 seniors and 10 juniors on the varsity squad, many of whom played at a high level of club competition this past summer but are still learning the varsity game.
“They are getting used to the size of their opponents and the speed of the game,” McCann said. “Some are used to dribbling and hanging on to the ball too long, but they are real competitive and are willing to learn.”
Hunter McManus, Gabe Ronan, Kaylob Croston, and Leo Steiner each scored in the win over Point. Luke McCann assisted on two goals and Alec Hinson on another.
That core group is expected to lead the Tigers’ offense, McCann said.
Defensively, goalkeeper Mathias Holm anchors the Tigers with Collin Nikolai, Scott Berg, Klaus Friedli, Nathan Carlson, and Roman Tibbett patrolling the back end.
“I was frustrated how we started against West, but I guess I just need to be more patient as a coach and help us get better week to week,” McCann said. “That’s my job as a coach.
“Our goal is always to challenge for the conference title. Is that realistic? We’ll find out in the next couple of weeks.”
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.