Raiders lose one, win one
During a break in the action last week, Hastings boys soccer coach Shane Lanning looked through his locker room and saw new faces everywhere. Hastings was playing at Todd Field, and a question popped into his head.
“How many people here have played on this field before?” Lanning asked the members of his team.
Of the 18 players in the room, just four raised their hands.
That statement explained a lot to Lanning — Hastings had played what he called an “uptight” first half against Roosevelt and eventually found themselves on the losing side of a 3-1 game.
“It was a very uptight atmosphere on Thursday,” Lanning said. “A lot of guys, it was their first time in a game in a big setting like that.”
Several underclassmen made the varsity roster this year, and those underclassmen have had to make the biggest adjustment.
“I think they are kind of getting more and more comfortable being on the varsity roster and being on Todd Field,” Lanning said. “They are no longer in tryout mode.”
By Saturday’s contest against Winona Cotter, Lanning could see a significant difference in his team’s approach.
“At Saturday’s game, the guys started to come together a little bit more,” he said. “The game was more free flowing. It was much more relaxed.
“One thing we noticed from game one to game two is that we started to become a lot more familiar with one another on the field. This is such a brand new team.
In the 3-0 win over Cotter, Tristan Nelson led Hastings offensively with two goals. Nelson is a senior forward for the Raiders.
He was assisted on one goal by Logan Welshons and on the second goal by Thomas Goonan.
The third goal was scored by sophomore Kalvin Hinderscheid.
Danny Steiner was the starting goalie. He played the first half. In the second half, Andrew Amy played.
Lanning was excited about the shutout.
“Defensively, we did very well on Saturday,” he said. “We didn’t want any pressure up the middle, and we were very successful at that.”
In the Roosevelt game, Hastings struggled to gain possession of the ball, especially in the first half.
“They probably held possession for about 70 percent of the game,” Lanning said. “I know, the first seven minutes, I think we only touched the ball one or two times.”
That said, Hastings stayed in the game and would have had a chance to win if it wasn’t for a couple bad bounces. One Roosevelt goal was scored after a ball bounced off a Hastings player and went into the net. Another was scored on a ball that hit the shoulder of a Hastings player on a clearing pass and ended up on the foot of a Roosevelt player.
Hastings missed a penalty kick and hit the post twice.
“You take away those missed opportunities and those bounces, and that game could have been a 3-1 or 4-1 victory for us,” Lanning said. “There were still a lot of good things that happened in that game.”
The Hastings goal was scored by Jonah Harrington, assisted by Kane McGree.
Steiner played in goal.
“I’m pretty happy with where Danny is at right now,” Lanning said. “He’s really starting to come around. There are very positive signs out there.”