Wildcats kick off season with shutout of Class 6A Bend
Wilsonville was disappointed with how last season ended — a 1-0 loss to Central in the second round of the state playoffs.
Last Tuesday, the Wildcats began getting the bad taste out of their mouths by shutting out Bend 4-0 to open the 2019 season.
"Last year, we ended on a really bad note," said junior Adam Landy, who scored all four goals against Bend. "We wanted to go farther in the playoffs, so we're eager to get back out this season and start it off right. It was definitely good for us. We came out wanting to play and wanting to win. I've got to thank my teammates for the assists obviously. I felt really good today. It's great to be out here and to come back and start the season."
Landy scored three goals in the first 29 minutes and then added a fourth less than midway through the second half.
"This is new for me," Landy said. "I came out here looking to score. That's all it was. I'm definitely taking it in stride and trying to continue what I do, keep playing, stay modest."
The win was also a bit of revenge for the Wildcats after losing 3-2 at Bend to open last season.
"I think we had a few more starters returning than they did," Wilsonville coach Ian Reschke said. "We have some key pieces back. It's all about piecing players in around what we already have from last season and just seeing what works, and I thought we had a good try, everybody had an opportunity today to show what they can provide. There's success in that aspect."
With a 4-0 lead, Landy did not play in the final 20 minutes.
"We needed to look at some other kids," Reschke said. "We've got all kinds of players that can step in and today was about getting everybody some minutes."
The Wildcats scored goals by committee last year and Reschke hopes the same will be true this season.
"That's one of the things on our list is how do we produce offensively when he's (Landy) taken out of the game," Reschke said. "We set him up in good situations. He knows his positioning and how to get himself in good positions. We have the players that are going to give him the ball in those right spots. That worked out. But teams are going to catch on and figure out the angles that they need to shut that down. We're going to have to figure out other ways to attack."
Toshi Kondo, who Reschke described as "quick and speedy," and Nathan Harmitt, as "the muscle," will also be key players up front.
While he was not tested against Bend, Reschke also has confidence in junior goalkeeper George Krecklow.
"He's sure hands back there for sure," Reschke said. "We've got a good back line in front of him."
Leading the Wildcats defense are sophomore Joey Freedman and senior captain Ryan McCord.
Seniors Angel Ulloa and Sam Blohn return in the center midfield and Eliab Bautista on the edge.
"We're looking for gamers and I like what I saw," Reschke said. "I saw some nervous moments, of course, a lot of their first varsity minutes, but blending that in with some of our experienced players, I think over time, the next couple of weeks and months, that's really going to pay dividends come league.
"We took care of the checked boxes that we needed to. We checked out how our system was working in a game setting. Now it's just tweaking, refining and continuing to push in practice. Speed of play is important. Today, we didn't play very quickly. Mostly because the opponent wasn't pressing us to play quick. There's some things that we need to tweak as a coaching staff and pick up the tempo a little bit."
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