Soccer Wildcats rebound from home-opening loss to defeat Lansing on the road

Senior varsity goalkeeper Eli Gratz takes a goal kick in the Wildcats season-opening home contest vs. Topeka-Seaman on Sept. 3.

Macie Albright

Senior varsity goalkeeper Eli Gratz takes a goal kick in the Wildcats season-opening home contest vs. Topeka-Seaman on Sept. 3.

Ethan Ferguson, Staff Reporter

De Soto High School boys’ soccer season has begun, with coaches and players already holding high expectations for the season.

Although the Wildcats ended their season opener in a tough 1-0 loss in double overtime, head coach Drew Proctor had many good things to say about his team’s performance. 

“It’s hard to teach effort and enthusiasm. Those are the things we did really well that game. We made a few mistakes, but not as many as we’ve made in the past,” Proctor said. 

It was a physical game for the Wildcats, but overall a teaching moment to prepare them for what’s to come along the course of the season. 

The team quickly bounced back from the loss in the first game, coming home with a win against Lansing High School. Senior keeper Eli Gratz talked about how the team was able to pull it all together for their first win of the season. 

“We were a lot more focused … that (the first loss) was what we needed to push ourselves,” Gratz said. 

Despite having a scoreless first game, the boys acquired two goals within the first three minutes of regulation versus Lansing. This lead them to ultimately win 5-1 against the Lions. Although the outcome ended in the Wildcats’ favor, Proctor thinks the team can improve in many ways mentally. 

“We became complacent, so there are still a few things we want to work on. We’re trying to find that domination factor I guess, but we’ll get there,” Proctor said. 

Proctor has high expectations for the team this year, with the end goal of qualifying for the State tournament and bringing home the State title for DHS. With all of the hard work in the offseason and effort being put forward at practice, these goals are seemingly more and more attainable. 

“We have a lot of heart on our team. No one slacks off, especially on varsity. We all push each other and we always go 100 percent because we all want to get better,” Gratz said.

This competition and hard work is part of the culture that the team is building together. With 17 seniors, the team has more than enough experience, but Proctor says every single member of the team is a leader. 

“With that [so many seniors], I don’t have to worry about discipline issues. I think they take care of themselves and know what they’re supposed to be doing,” Proctor said. 

After losing to Shawnee Heights on the road, the Wildcats are now at 1-2. They return home to play Kansas City Christian in their home game tonight at 6 p.m.