The opportunities were there.
The goals, however, weren’t.
The Waupaca boys’ soccer team opened Eastern Valley Conference play Aug. 23 with a 3-0 loss to Fox Valley Lutheran, a game much closer than the final score indicates.
FVL struck first 29 seconds into the game on Tadao Shimura’s goal. The score remained 1-0 until the Foxes added a pair of insurance goals in the final 7 1/2 minutes from Jon Rieth and Zac Surma.
“One thing we’ve struggled with the past couple of games is one goal goes in and we put our heads down,” coach Matt Lawniczak said. “I told the guys before the game that’s something we need to work on. You need to show the rest of the team and me that you want this. I was really satisfied how they did with staying positive.”
The Comets had seven shots on FVL goalkeeper Mason Wilz, but Wilz was able to come up with seven saves. Comet goalkeeper Eric Cummings also finished with seven saves.
“I thought we had some great opportunities tonight,” Lawniczak said. “I think it’s important for the guys to know that everyone on the team is capable of scoring. It has to be a team effort. We’ll get it. It’s still early in the season.”
Although the Comets came out on the short end of the score, Lawniczak was happy with his team’s effort.
“The guys played extremely well,” he said. “I know they’re frustrated because they saw how well they played. They finally saw what I knew they could do. They stayed right with a great team and I hope we can build from this. There are a lot of things we can build off of this game.”
The Comets hosted Seymour Aug. 28 and will return to EVC action at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Berlin.
“One of the things I really stressed to the team is coming out and saying, ‘I want to win this,'” Lawniczak said. “There isn’t a team that we can’t stay with if we play our game. It’s getting them to know that. We see the talent this team has and I think everyone else got to see it tonight, too.”