The five wins PCM’s boys’ soccer team got last season don’t look too impressive on the surface.
But it was the most wins by a Mustang team in at least seven years, and the program was a few shots away from a winning record.
PCM was only shut out three times on the season and six of its losses were decided by a single goal. The Mustangs were 4-6 in matches decided by two goals or less.
“We have been working a lot in the preseason practices with competitive drills,” PCM coach Darrin Telfer said.
“We are trying to learn how to win and learn how to finish.”
Despite losing their leading scorer and best player off last year’s roster, Telfer feels a deeper roster this season will help the Mustangs get over the hump.
The roster includes 36 players, 28 of which are juniors and seniors. The junior class is 20 deep.
“It’s a strong class of players who have been waiting for their turn,” Telfer said. “We are excited to see how they rise to the occasion.”
Misha Seebeck led the Mustangs in goals (11) and assists (4) last season. He has graduated, but PCM welcomes back juniors Noah Hirayama, Collin Petersen, Cade McCombs and Jason Stafford and seniors Blake Read and Carson Clark, who all scored at least one goal or contributed one assist last season.
Hirayama was the team’s second-leading scorer after putting in six goals a season ago.
Petersen had three goals and one assist and Clark tallied two goals and three assists.
Other members of the strong junior class include Dylan Sanders, Dominic McCarville and Rayce Kohlhoff.
Several seniors are back out this season after not playing last year, including Nick Dredge, Cody Wallace, Olin Meinders and Andrew Van Ryswyk.
Telfer also expects a pair of freshmen to see action on the pitch in 2019.
“We need to have better touch and clean things up a little bit,” Telfer said. “We need to do the little things better.”
Two players will compete in two sports this spring. Van Ryswyk also will play golf for the Mustangs, while McCombs will compete on the track team.
Replacing Seebeck, who did just about everything for the Mustangs last season, won’t be easy, but Telfer expects Hirayama, Petersen and Clark to pick up the slack on the offensive end along with Dredge, who will play forward.
The Mustangs graduated three of their top five goal scorers and 21 total goals last season.
Meinders and Van Ryswyk will be used as midfielders or defenders and Wallace returns to the defensive backfield after playing the position as a sophomore.
Telfer used three different goalkeepers last season, including Read, Stafford and junior Gavin Burkman.
PCM is scheduled to open the season at 7 p.m. on March 28 against Pella Christian. The match is slated to be played at home, but Telfer said it may be moved to Pella because of poor field conditions.