Truman head boys soccer coach Manny Tovar said he doesn’t have an experienced team, but has a few seniors who are the heart and soul of the team.
Four of those seniors provided the scoring for the Patriots in Tuesday’s non-conference game against crosstown rival William Chrisman. Hernan Andrade, Korby Ring, Andre Guzman and Raul Romero – who often power the offense – each scored a goal in a 4-1 home win.
“Those guys definitely are (the heart and soul of the team),” Tovar said. “We don’t have a true goal scorer, and we just spread the ball around to a lot of people. I think that’s one of the things that can make us dangerous.”
Ring said Tuesday’s success was partly due to the chemistry between the seniors.
“Our core midfielders and our one striker, Hernan, we’ve been together for three years now,” he said. “It’s really easy for us to play with each other.”
Despite Truman controlling the time of possession in the first half, Chrisman struck first. Junior forward Zane Brende received a cross from a teammate and put in a close-range shot inside the right post for a 1-0 lead in the second minute.
“Truman did a great job putting us under pressure at the beginning of the game,” Chrisman head coach John Straub said. “I think we did a nice job of responding. We caught them on their heels a little bit on that goal by Zane.
(The Patriots) move the ball well. They don’t hold onto it very long. They are able to switch the field from right to left and left to right.”
It didn’t take long for Truman to tie it. In the ninth minute, Ring received a long cross from Romero and drilled a shot under the crossbar from the top of the 18-yard box.
“They played the ball in and I was offsides at first, but it flicked off (a Chrisman defender’s head), so I was just in the right spot to get the rebound and put it away.”
The Bears (3-1) had a chance to lake the lead in the 25th minute when Brende got an open shot near the left post, but Truman senior goalkeeper Jaxon Kalig challenged it and knocked the ball away.
The Patriots (3-1) just missed on a shot just 2 minutes later. Ring found some open space in the left wing but his shot went just wide of the net.
Romero came through with the go-ahead goal in the 35th minute when he got a cross at the top of the penalty box from Sam Griffin, and he perfectly placed his shot inside the right post for 2-1 edge.
Romero later sent a high bouncing ball toward the Chrisman goal early in the second half. Andrade timed his run toward the goal perfectly. As soon as the ball hit the ground off a bounce, he nailed a point-blank shot.
Guzman capped the scoring in the 49th minute when he was fouled in the penalty box and was awarded a penalty kick. He lightly tapped the ball into a wide open space on the right side to notch Truman’s fourth goal by a senior.
“In first half, our coach told us we were forcing it forward, but in the second half, we were moving without the ball more and making short passes so we could break them down a little more,” Ring said.
Truman controlled the second half, having a 6-2 edge in shots on goal. The play in the final 40 minutes was encouraging for Tovar, who was displeased with the way his team played at times during the team’s first three games of the season in the Raytown South Tournament.
“I thought we did well,” Tovar said. “In the first half, we still controlled it. In the second half, it was definitely a lot better. We moved the ball around and everyone stayed on point. Our midfielders and forwards did a good job moving the ball.”