Taft High boys soccer coach Ryan Ulicni believes in first things first. After that, the sky’s the limit.
“Our first team goals will be to make sure that we win enough games to secure a home-field playoff run,” he said, “. . . then it’s on to the championship!”
The Class 3A Tigers went 9-5-4 overall and 6-4-4 for sixth place in Special District 2 play last season while outscoring opponents 47-20. Ulicni said he believes improvement will be on the horizon when the Tigers take the field for their season opener at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday against Delphian at Voris Field.
“Coming into this season, I believe we have an even more balanced team than last year,” he said. “What you can look forward to from our team will be the fast play that they will accomplish. We have a very good group of our core returning from last year.”
Seniors Edson Fuentes and Estib Hernandez will be the team leaders, Ulicni said.
“They both possess leadership abilities and dedication to the team,” he said. “Edson will lead the charge as our primary striker, while Estib will provide the necessary defending to secure the game.”
Ulicni said the Tigers will also rely heavily on his midfielders to control the pace of play.
“William Calderon and Jose Flores will be in our midfield making the plays and adjustments to move our team where we need to be,” he said. “Having both of them in the middle, their hard work is something that the team has come to trust and appreciate.”
Sophomore Sam Cortes will be the Tigers’ primary goalkeeper, filling the shoes of our departing star William Brooks.
“He has shown the want and work it takes to be leading our defense from the posts,” Ulicni said.
Sophomore Adrian Moreno will also be a player to watch, Ulicni said.
“His presence on the ball and ability to see the field is a great asset to have on the team,” he said.
Ulicni said he expects the Tigers’ toughest opposition to come from Gervais and Dayton.
“Every game will show a different aspect on which the team needs to fix,” he said. “These young men will show the resilience and adaptability to improve with each match.”
Class 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 Standings
|Western Christian/Perrydale (2A)||0-0||0-1||0||5||10|
|Blanchet Catholic (3A)||–||–||–||–||–|
|Salem Academy (3A)||–||–||–||–||–|
GS=Goals Scored; GA=Goals Allowed
Wednesday, Sept. 11 vs. Delphian, 6:15 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 12 vs. *Salem Academy, 6:15 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 20 vs. *Yamhill-Carlton, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 25 @ *Dayton, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 27 vs. *Western Christian/Perrydale, 4:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 2 @ *Gervais, 4:15 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 4 @ *Delphian, 4:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 8 @ *Salem Academy, 4:15 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 10 vs. *Blanchet Catholic, 6:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 14 @ *Yamhill-Carlton, 4:15 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 28 vs. *Dayton, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 23 @ *Western Christian/Perrydale, 4:15 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 25 vs. *Gervais, 4:15 p.m.
- denotes league game
Coach: Ryan Ulicni
|Alex Del Valle||D/M||11|