Resiliency – it’s a learned character trait born out of the ability to recover from difficult situations and it’s still a work in progress with this team. It took a late second half 10 minute collapse for the Wildcats to watch their 2-1 lead morph into a 3-2 loss to find themselves back to .500 on the year. In the all to familiar story, the boys play exceptionally well for a majority of the game only to fold when the chips are down. A mental hurdle for sure – it wasn’t for lack of style, pace, possession and finishing. In fact, the boys showed a flash of resiliency after going down 1-0 only 15 minutes into the game when Papillion La Vista South slipped a forward between two Wildcat center backs and beat Senior GK Sam Fedde low who was all alone to defend.
Less than 3 minutes later, the boys went to work and it was Sophomore Caden Tubaugh again linking up with his favorite target Nate Bauermeister and the two combined to set up Senior Captain Braedan Evans, who is off to a sensational Senior campaign, to finish the chance and it was all level.
The resiliency didn’t stop there.
It only took 3 more minutes for Bauermeister and Evans to connect again with Evans hammering home the go-ahead score through a PLVS defender and suddenly the tables had turned and it was 2-1 going into the half. The start of the second half was promising and the first 20 minutes the boys showed good discipline in their defending while not creating too much going forward in an effort to protect the lead.
Exit the resiliency.
With 16 minutes to go, PLVS sent a ball in behind the right side of the defense and the runner collected the ball and sent a low driven cross past 3 Wildcats to a waiting attacker on the far post and the game was tied. At the 12 minute mark a corner kick resulted in a scramble in the box and the ball fell to the foot of Senior Captain Andrew Hall who has been deadly with his finishing this year but the keeper came up with the save in a big moment. At the 8 minute mark Junior Kolby Fahner whipped a ball in around the defense of PLVS to an oncoming Nate Bauermeister who flicked the ball over the keeper and just off the crossbar. And then the collapse – PLVS was allowed to stroll through the center of the Wildcat defensive third unchallenged from 20 yards out and hit a ball on the ground across the face of the goal that dribbled into the opposite corner. A last gasp attempt was sent wide by Evans in the final minutes and the match ended 3-2.
Back to resiliency training.