Boys’ soccer bounces back in win against KC Christian

The+De+Soto+High+School+boys+soccer+team+huddles+before+their+game+against+Mill+Valley+on+Sep.+7.+

Marley Upp

The De Soto High School boys’ soccer team huddles before their game against Mill Valley on Sep. 7.

Brady Huggins, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After a tough loss at the hands of the Mill Valley Jaguars, De Soto High School’s varsity boys’ soccer team bounced back for a huge win against Kansas City Christian on Thursday, Sep. 9. The win moved De Soto to 3-1 on the season and put them back on track in the race for the United Kansas Conference championship. 

Head coach Andrew Proctor spoke in regards to the team’s ability to rebound after the defeat at Mill Valley. 

“I think we really bounced back on Thursday when we played Kansas City Christian,” Proctor said. “We’re starting to find our way as a team in terms of what we do well and what we need to work on.” 

Senior midfielder Jackson Porras felt the team’s mindset coming into the game against Kansas City Christian was critical. 

“We went in with a mindset that losing isn’t an option,” Porras said. “We had a tough loss to them [Kansas City Christian] last year, so it was a must-win mentality.” 

Senior centerback Kyle Newberry also commented on the Wildcats’ attitude coming into Thursday night’s game. 

“We came into the game hungry and aggressive and were able to get a decisive win,” Newberry said. 

For the Wildcats, coming back after a loss to their bitter rivals was not an easy task. The annual USD 232 showdown between De Soto and Mill Valley is always a highly anticipated matchup for players and fans. 

“On the De Soto side, we’ve never beaten Mill Valley,” Newberry said. “Each year it’s a test to see if De Soto soccer can make history.”

Coming into the game against Mill Valley, De Soto planned to maintain a defensive posture and prevent the Jaguars from connecting passes. 

“We knew they were strong technically and liked to combine in the midfield,” Proctor said. “We tried to make it difficult for their midfield to find possession.”

Porras also detailed the Wildcats’ game plan headed into the Mill Valley game.

“We played a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, which is more defensive,” Porras said. “We also wanted to lock up their star forward.” 

In front of a packed house at Mill Valley’s soccer stadium, the Wildcats started strong but then took their foot off the pedal. 

“We did a great job executing in the first five to 10 minutes, but then let down a little after that,” Proctor said. “The game was extremely physically demanding for us, both in terms of endurance and physicality.” 

Newberry also added a few takeaways from the loss. 

“I thought we shut down their star forward pretty well, but we struggled with marking up on crosses and clearing the ball,” Newberry said. “We also had some difficulties offensively.” 

However, the Wildcats were able to put the Mill Valley loss behind them and gave a strong performance at home against Kansas City Christian. 

“Our defense is very good when we’re all healthy,” Porras said. “We’re also very aggressive when winning the ball back. Possessing in the final third is a weakness, we dribble too much under pressure. That’s definitely something we can work on.” 

Proctor agreed with Porras’ praise of De Soto’s backline. 

“Our backline has been really good the past few games,” Proctor said. “I’ve been really happy with how the guys back there have responded this year.” 

It’s still early in the fall soccer season, but the Wildcats are already working towards postseason goals. 

“We want to win UKC, win a Regional championship, and advance as far into the state tournament that we can,” Newberry said. 

Given De Soto’s resilience early in the year, a deep run in the State tournament could be a possibility. An experienced core of seniors and a talented group of underclassmen give the boy’s soccer team an extremely high ceiling. 

“Postseason, we’re shooting towards Regionals,” Porras said. “For me and the other guys, it’s all about if we can keep advancing and perform better than people thought we would.”