Getting his Appleton West team to finish at the net has been a top priority for Terrors coach Tim Stuebs.
However, there were no signs Monday of a West team stuck in a scoring drought.
Instead, the Terrors went on a scoring binge.
Senior striker Aydan Leigh delivered a hat trick and the Terrors picked up their first win of the season with an impressive 7-1 non-conference soccer win over Fox Valley Lutheran.
“This is a really good win for us and we’re hoping it can be kind of building stone,” said Stuebs. “We’re still in the building stages, but this is one of the better teams West has had the past few years. Hopefully, we can do a little more damage in the conference this year.”
West (1-2-1) had scored just two goals in its first three matches, but surpassed that number just 11 minutes into the contest.
“Last year, we struggled putting the ball in the goal and we played great soccer during the past week, but didn’t get the scoring we needed,” said Stuebs. “You need to possess the ball to score and we did a lot better job of that today. We’re starting to build up our attack more.”
It was the first varsity hat trick for Leigh, who netted two of his goals on breakaways.
“I don’t know what it is was, I guess I ate my Wheaties this morning,” joked Leigh. “We had two games Saturday in a tournament and I was actually a little sore today, but I just gave it my all and we got our first win.”
Andrew Barry, Blake Dempsey, Spencer Bard and Thomas Tetzke added goals for the Terrors, who are looking to improve on last year’s 5-16 mark.
“We’re trying to make more of an impact in the conference,” said Leigh. “We’ve kind of been slacking the last couple years. We lost a bunch of seniors from last year and we’re trying to recover with a young team. We’re starting to work together finally. Today we passed the ball a lot more and possessed better than we usually do.”
Leigh’s first goal came a minute into the contest and set the tone for a dominant performance by the Terrors, who scored six of their goals in the first half to give goalkeepers Aidan Fogerty and Jack Schneider a stress-free night in the net.
“We only have four seniors on this team, so we’re pretty young and our seniors have taught the young guys a lot,” said Stuebs. “They have really taken it upon themselves to help develop the program. You have to give those seniors a lot of credit for sticking through the tough times and now they’re starting to put our program in the right direction.”
Fox Valley Lutheran’s only goal came from sophomore midfielder Kaz Van Asten, who cut the gap to 2-1 about six minutes into the contest.
The Foxes played without one of their top players, junior midfielder Tadao Shimura, who has a knee strain. FVL (1-4-0) is also a youthful team, with just four seniors on its roster.
“We’re young and we’re learning,” said Foxes coach Erich Schaser. “But we have to play a lot harder than we played today.”
|Fox Valley Lutheran…||…1||0||—||1|
Goals: Aydan Leigh AW 1:00; Andrew Barry AW 4:02; Kaz Van Asten FVL 5:57; Leigh AW 11:09: Leigh AW 14:24; Blake Dempsey AW 34:32; Spencer Bard AW 35:16; Thomas Tetzke AW.
— Tim Froberg: 920-993-1000, ext. 423, firstname.lastname@example.org; On Twitter @twfroberg