By Chris Parker
Carl Junction boys soccer has won five games in back-to-back seasons. The Bulldogs will have to replace a Class of 2020 group that saw nine seniors graduate. The cupboard is far from bare with 10 seniors returning to the fold this year.
Scoring will be key for Carl Junction to turn things around.
“We need to score some goals, most of game are close but we are not putting the ball in the back of the net when the opportunity presents itself,” Carl Junction head coach Ed Miller said. “The last two or three years we haven’t had a double-digit scorer and when you’re not scoring goals you run a fine line between winning and losing, one mistake on the defense end can cost you the game.”
Senior midfielder Jose Figueroa was the lone player to earn all-conference honors last year. He was named second-team all-conference after he accounted for four goals and one assist.
“He (Figueroa) does a great job seeing the field and keeping his composure in pressure situation or has enough skill to get out of those situations,” Miller said. “He great person and on the off the field and fun to coach.”
After Figueora, most of the other positions are up for competition.
“We are still evaluating players and systems of play for our team, so positions are still up in the air,” Miller said. “We lost nine seniors last year and looking at players in a lot of different spots. We also have 10 seniors this year, but a lot of them haven’t seen a lot of varsity action yet.”
Carl Junction will open the season on Sept. 1 at home against Joplin.