La Plata Boys Soccer Riding Nine Game Win Streak into Postseason
A year removed from reaching the MPSSAA 2A state finals, and La Plata's boys soccer team looks prepped for another deep playoff push.
Few teams will enter the MPSSAA playoffs this season with more momentum than La Plata. The Warriors are on a nine game winning streak which dates back to Sept. 16 when La Plata beat St. Charles, 3-1.
The win streak has represented a great turnaround from a team that started 2-3, which includes a 1-1 record in tournament play. Before the win streak started, La Plata lost back to back games, which included a 9-0 defeat against Leonardtown.
The Warriors' head coach Chris Butler admits the team lacked cohesion on the field early on due to position changes and injuries, but now credits the initial struggles for the success La Plata has enjoyed over the past month.
"We learned from our experiences, analyzed the team's deficiencies, and refocused our efforts on the fundamental team soccer skills that allowed us to be successful in the past," Butler said. "Watching these young men regain their form after those two difficult losses and go on a nine game winning streak has been very fulfilling for the coaching staff, as well as the players."
It should also be fulfilling to see La Plata win in such dominant fashion. Over this victorious stretch, the Charles County School has outscored opponents 36-4, and registered six shutouts.
Of the team's many wins, one clearly stands out to Butler as the Warriors' statement game.
"The best performance this year is clearly our victory over Huntingtown on Tuesday night," Butler said. "They are a very good team, have a tradition of winning, are well coached, and before Tuesday night, were undefeated."
It's been a complete team effort for the Warriors, but a few players have had true standout seasons.
Senior forward Dylan Ogletree has been electric this season, bringing an explosiveness to the Warriors' attack that was sorely lacked early on. Junior center midfielder Seth Depriest-Kessler, who has been on the varsity since his freshman season, is enjoying his best season according to Butler, and much of La Plata's offense funnels through him.
At the back the group has been led by the senior duo of center back Antonio Lopez and goalkeeper Ben Lebarron. Lopez is more than just a defender, possessing great skill and vision which has been crucial for La Plata. In Lebarron, the Warriors have a goalie who is a tremendous athlete and has improved vastly as the season has wore on.
Combine the team's momentum with the experience of last season, and it could be a winning combination for La Plata. The group is setting the bar high once again this season, and don't plan to have their season end any time soon.
"Our goals are to repeat as the 2A South champions, and give ourselves a chance to compete for a state championship," Butler said.
|October 21st, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|