Voss has sights set on a solid NU soccer season | TheUnion.com

Voss has sights set on a solid NU soccer season

Nevada Union soccer coach Mike Voss said his team’s three-victory performance last weekend at Woodland surpassed his expectation.

With a strong performance early, it may be easy to expect the moon and stars from the 2002 boys soccer team, but Voss said there are numerous intangibles that will decide how far this year’s team can go.

NU’s first home test will be played today against Forest Lake Christian at Sierra College. The varsity match will begin at 3:30 p.m., with the junior varsity match to follow.

For now, Voss said he would be pleased if his young squad could finish in the upper echelon of the newly aligned Metro Conference. Gone are perennial league foes such as Bella Vista, Davis and Rio Americano, teams that in recent years had dominate various Capital Athletic League alignments.

Last year, NU’s playoff hopes went down to the final week of league play. Voss, however, is not convinced that this year’s alignment that has sent the Miners to the Metro Conference has set the stage for his team to make the playoffs for the first time in school history.

It is simply too soon to tell, and too many questions must sort themselves out.

“Competition-wise, the new league is maybe not as tough,” said Voss, who took over the program from Kevin Bennett this season. “But Kennedy tied Jesuit the other day and I saw Yuba City play at Woodland. They won three games and played really well, so it won’t be a cake walk.”

Of the 18 soccer players currently on the roster, only five Miners are seniors. Voss said the team will be keyed with the play of goalkeeper Cody Bielen, stopper Phillip Plant and midfielders Jose Zanudo and Ben Hadjuk.

“They can play inside midfield, which to me is one of the toughest positions to play,” said Voss of Zanudo and Hadjuk, who along with Chris Russo make up the captains for this year’s team. “They are who you want to base a team around. You want your center-midfielders to not give the ball up, and to look for people making long runs.”

Other players to look for on this year’s team include Bryan Beckler, Darren Chapel, who scored two goals in the Woodland tournament, Case Clark, Nate Entrekin, Brian Gardner, Cody Grout, Ryan Hoffman, Kyle McTighe, sophomore Garett Parez, Chris Schalker, Luke Stratigakes, Matt Ulinski, and Nitai Vinitzky.

“The great unknown about this team is whether we’ll have the consistency of soccer, passing one touch, two touches,” Voss said. “If we can give up the ball, holding it when we have time, put pressure on teams and keep it simple, everything else will take care of itself.”

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