Setting new goals: West Forsyth boys soccer eyes fall schedule
Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2023
By Dan Kibler
For the Clemmons Courier
Call them “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.”
To say that West Forsyth’s boys soccer team had trouble putting the ball in their opponents’ nets was putting it mildly. The Titans finished 10-10-4 overall, 9-5 in the Central Piedmont 4A, losing in the first round of the state Class 4A playoffs, scoring only 43 goals — an average of about 1.5 goals per game.
Coach Jeffrey Williams wasn’t necessarily disappointed. He knew the Titans had lost most of their offensive threats from the previous year’s team, and he knew that he’d put together one of the toughest schedules one of his teams had ever faced, hence, their 1-5-4 record in non-conference games.
“We were a good team, but we were young, we were inconsistent, and we didn’t score enough goals,” Williams said. “I loaded the schedule last year; that was about as good as we could have done. We lost something like seven or eight games by one goal. We lost to Mooresville 2-1 on two corner kicks, and we tied Cox Mill 1-1 when we gave up a corner kick.
“I’m excited about this team. We lost some good seniors from last year, but we had a lot of freshmen and sophomores log a lot of minutes last year.”
The good news is Williams’ two top scorers from a year ago were both sophomores, and they’re both back. Forward Albiel Lopez tallied 15 goals and 10 assists, and Haegen Paschold — the latest in a line of Paschold brothers to star for the Titans added 12 goals and nine assists.
They’ll be joined on the attack by Truman Sokpharn, a senior who scored both of West’s goals in a recent scrimmage, and returning starters Alexis Peleaz and Josh Medel; Medel scored four goals and had eight assists last season.
Williams figures he’s in decent shape up front.
“I think the offense will be a little better,” he said. “With a year of experience — the guys being a year older — that should raise our level of play a little higher.”
Plus, Williams has put a bigger emphasis on offense in early practices.
“Scoring is something you continually work on,” he said. “We want to create as many chances as possible and convert as many of those chances as we can. I’m a defensive-minded coach; the first couple of weeks of practice, we usually concentrate a lot on defense, but this time, we did more work on attacking than we’ve ever done before.”
Defense wasn’t a problem for West Forsyth last season; the Titans gave up only 35 goals in 24 outings, and much of the back-end players return.
“The No. 1 thing is not to let the ball get into your net, and we’ve got both of our center backs back (seniors Andrew Green and Nolan Terlecki), and we split time in goal last year between Grant Talley and a senior. Grant is back, and he’s split time in goal the past three seasons.
“And we had a freshman back last year, Ethan Borghout, who will be a very strong player for us this year.”
Williams was dead on with his predictions before last season, saying he knew the Titans would have trouble scoring enough to be a strong team. If his feelings are on target this season, it could be a good one.
“I hope to bring in a new feeling this year,” he said.
8/21 – @ Watauga*; 6:30 p.m.
8/24 – Ledford*; 7 p.m.
8/29 – @ Forbush*; 6:45 p.m.
8/31 – @ Northwest Guilford*; 7 p.m.
9/6 – Mount Tabor; 7 p.m.
9/8 – Asheboro*; 7 p.m.
9/11 – @ Parkland; 7 p.m.
9/13 – Glenn; 7 p.m.
9/18 – Reagan; 7 p.m.
9/20 – @ Davie; 7 p.m.
9/25 – @ RJ Reynolds; 7 p.m.
9/27 – East Forsyth; 7 p.m.
10/4 – @ Mount Tabor; 7 p.m.
10/9 – Parkland; 7 p.m.
10/11 – @ Glenn; 7 p.m.
10/16 – @ Reagan; 7 p.m.
10/18 – Davie; 7 p.m.
10/23 – RJ Reynolds; 7 p.m.
10/25 – @ East Forsyth; 7 p.m.
*denotes non-conference game