The season is barely under way, but injuries are already taking a toll on the Waupaca boys’ soccer team.
The Comets dropped their first two games of the season, including a 3-1 setback to Winneconne Aug. 21 in the Eastern Valley Conference opener and a 2-1 defeat to Stevens Point two days earlier in the season opener.
“Injuries are affecting us,” coach Matt Lawniczak said.
Defender Brock Navin is out for about six weeks after getting hurt in an early practice, while the Comets lost Miguel Barraza for two weeks in the Stevens Point game.
“It’s hard when you’re moving guys all over the place,” Lawniczak said. “They’ve all been 100-percent willing to move around and trying new spots.”
Not only are the Comets dealing with injuries, they’re also playing longer soccer games. Each half is 45 minutes, up from 40 minutes, which means that games are now 10 minutes longer.
“Ninety minutes is a long game, but my guys are conditioned.” Lawniczak said. “It’s getting experience. We’re old, but we’re young at the same time. I have strong sophomores. All five of them started today (against Winneconne). Tonight, it came down to (Winneconne having) more experience. We lost some key players last year, but we have a lot of talent. We have 10 seniors on the varsity team.”
Lawniczak expects things to fall into place sooner rather than later.
“I know they will,” he said. “This is the type of experience we need. I just hope that we’re not too far back. I have 100-percent confidence in these guys and their abilities. I hope that they see that and they know that.”