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Tigers win six of last eight, near playoffs
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
April 17, 2013 12:08 PM | 986 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Junior midfielder and captain Juan Carlos Serna attempts a shot during practice last week at Douglas County High School.
Junior midfielder and captain Juan Carlos Serna attempts a shot during practice last week at Douglas County High School.
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In their last region matchup of the season, the Douglas County boys’ soccer team shut out Langston Hughes 10-0, to give them a region record of 3-2 and an overall record of 6-5-1.

The score was 9-0 at the half, allowing head coach John Cunningham to rest his starters the entire second half, giving his bench some more experience.

“That helped to create more depth as we go into the playoffs. We started making significant subs at 6-0. We started pulling players from the defense,” said Cunningham.

The subs were able to perform the tasks emphasized on the team and continued to prevent the other team from scoring in the March 26 game.

With only two games left on the schedule, both non-regions, the Tigers are preparing for the postseason.

Starting the season, Douglas County was 0-4, but in their last eight games the Tigers were able to turn things around as they went 6-1-1, outscoring opponents 27-5

“We got off to a slow start. We played some tough opponents in the first few games. It took time to figure out the positions each player played best together,” Cunningham said.

With so many players that are good in multiple positions, Cunningham said it took time to get the chemistry right on the field. Along with positions, Cunningham said the team began to emphasize getting back on defense and finding space without the ball.

Cunningham mentioned six players specifically who have done a notable job in their respective positions — senior defender Jordan Alexander, junior goalie Jacob Bivens, junior midfielder Rooby Delusma, sophomore outside midfielder Ayman Khan, junior midfielder Juan Carlos Serna and sophomore forward Lyston Thomas.

Alexander is a captain and has managed to score as a defender. Bivens, according to Cunningham, is a very good player in multiple spots, but the team needed him at goalie and he has really come through for the team.

Serna is the other captain and Cunningham said he has played an important role in distributing the ball. Delusma and Thomas are the team’s top scorers. Khan has created a number of goals and gets back on defense, playing what Cunningham calls the “toughest job on the team.”

Over spring break the team practiced to prevent a 13-day break between games.

“They do have a small break. We have some injuries that need resting, but I wanted to keep the chemistry going and keep the guys sharp,” Cunningham said.
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