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Boys soccer: Defenders accepting roles, rejecting goals for surging Wilsonville

Wildcats top Sandy with second-straight shutout


by: GREG ARTMAN / FILE - The defenders of the Wilsonville boys soccer team are not necessarily playing their first-choice positions, but they've helped the program remain unbeaten in league play. Above, Sam Bullock tracks a ball in the back half.When coach Ian Reschke looks at the Wilsonville boys soccer roster, he doesn’t see an abundance of true defenders.

But the players he’s asked to fill spots on the back line have assumed the roles like award-winning actors.

Along with goalkeeper Quinn Everts and sweeper Sam Parker, four athletes — Sam Bullock, Carlos Ulloa, Andrew Fairrington and Jason Johnson — have given the Wildcats a defensive sturdiness that has buoyed the program in recent weeks.

“I’m sure if you asked any of these guys if outside back is their choice of position, three of the four would say, ‘No,’” Reschke said. “But these four have all made sacrifices for the team and are a big part of why we are winning games. These boys in particular have played extremely well considering they were placed in a secondary position.”

The defense helped Wilsonville extend its winning streak once again Oct. 15, recording its second-consecutive shutout — and its fourth shutout of the season — in a 1-0 win over Sandy at Randall Stadium.

It was the fourth-consecutive triumph for the third-ranked Wildcats (7-3-1, 3-0-1 in the Northwest Oregon Conference), who remain unbeaten in league play as they continue a quest for their first conference title in nearly a decade. They played Sherwood to a 2-2 tie on the road Oct. 17.

Reschke’s program defeated the Pioneers for the fourth year in a row, adding to a list that includes a 2-0 win in 2010, a 3-2 decision in 2011 and a 7-1 blowout last year.

Wilsonville, whose recent unbeaten streak has also included victories against Hood River Valley, Liberty and St. Helens, has outscored its last five opponents by a combined tally of 15-6.

The Wildcats have been solid on defense throughout the season, giving up just 15 goals through 11 games.

Five of those goals came in a humbling 5-1 loss to Hillsboro at home Sept. 24, a game that offered several key lessons for a team that had not yielded more than four scores since 2011. Reschke said his players let officiating decisions dictate their emotion, made mistakes in their defensive coverage and failed to finish scoring chances.

But they’ve responded well since falling to the Spartans. They haven’t dropped a match since.

“At all levels, athletes and coaches find it challenging to overlook questionable calls,” Reschke said. “It takes tremendous maturity and discipline to accept that officials are part of the game and, just like all participants, they are not perfect. All involved need to accept that fact and learn to deal with that adversity. This will always be a work in progress.

“At practice, we have worked extensively on man-marking, particularly in the box and on the weak side. And we continue to work on finishing. We could do better at anticipating where second balls are likely to bounce in the box. I feel like there are some easy goals to be had if players would anticipate a little more rather than just react to the game.”

In the win over Sandy, Wilsonville helped its cause with a goal in the first half.

Carlos Ulloa launched a corner kick towards the far post, and standout senior Timmy Bourque directed it into the net on a crafty header. It was the only scoring play of the night.

If it sounds like a familiar sequence, it’s because it is. Bourque also put away Ulloa’s corner kick in the Wildcats’ 1-0 win over Stayton at home Sept. 17.

Wilsonville made Bourque’s header count again by keeping the Pioneers’ attack at bay.

Its defensive performance started with its midfielders. Reschke said the efforts of Garrett Bonnell, Edgar Hernandez, Tyler Martin, Adam Kane, Alex Roberts and Kyle Roberts have often been reflected in the Wildcats’ outcomes.

“The midfield has been solid for most of the year,” Reschke said. “When they don’t complicate the game, keep their shape and play good defense, the team is at its best.”

Meanwhile, Everts built on his success between the pipes in the fourth varsity start of his career. The team is 4-0 since the sophomore was asked to replace Alex Roberts, whose skills have been put to use away from the box.

Everts “did everything he needed to help preserve the shutout,” Reschke said.

Reschke also praised the efforts of Parker, who has anchored Wilsonville’s back line. The sweeper’s play has allowed Bourque — an all-league defender last season — to contribute at the offensive end.

“Sam Parker had a solid game at sweeper, as he has been improving each game, and is definitely one of the top sweepers in our league,” Reschke said. “We need him to continue to improve and lead the back line as we move toward the postseason.”




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