By Dalton Tinklenburg
BREMEN – The Wawasee Warriors boys soccer team traveled to Bremen Monday evening to face the Lions at Jane’s Park. The Lions strolled to a dominant 9-0 victory, forcing an early ending via the mercy rule.
Things were deadlocked through nearly the entire first half of the first period before Bremen got on the board with their first goal. The score was an omen of things to come as the Lions added two more goals before halftime, heading to the break ahead 3-0.
Coming out of halftime, the Warriors looked as though they were ready for bed as Bremen (7-2-1) began to have their way on the pitch. Six goals in 25 minutes made it 9-0, which instituted the new mercy rule the IHSAA has in place.
“The big message to the boys was just they ran through them, Bremen ran through the ball and worked together as a team and we have worked on all of those things,” said Wawasee head coach Jordan Sharp. “We just have not been showing up as a team. We have a lot of hard-working individuals out there that aren’t connected. For us, I feel like we have all of the pieces, it’s just up to the boys to put the pieces together and work on gelling those links and trusting one another.
“We do have a younger team and we’ve had some injuries but that still doesn’t give you an excuse to let that happen. I’ll credit Bremen, they are a good size, they are big boys, they all worked hard so I can’t take that from them at all. Just disappointed in our boys’ resolve as a team and togetherness.”
When asked about how his team’s lack of teamwork and the general disconnect could be fixed, Sharp did not pull any punches.
“That’s just the thing that has been frustrating this season, we have been saying all of these things to them, we’ve been repeating the things to them,” offered Sharp. “We just really feel like it’s up to the boys to start showing it. That’s just been the frustrating thing of part of this season. We are waiting on the boys to show it.
“In my mind, if I’m playing on the field, there’s no way we are losing that much. I’m finding some solutions and so it is just frustrating that the boys aren’t finding the solutions that need to be found. It’s a leadership thing, it’s a guy’s stepping up thing. We will get a chance again at Columbia City but their record is looking good, too. So our boys should be nervous going into Wednesday. We will be playing tougher, more confidently, and run through the ball harder.”
After the varsity game ended prematurely, the junior varsity squads for both schools got their turn to take the pitch. The difference in communication for the Wawasee junior varsity team was apparent despite a 3-0 Bremen win.
“Yeah, no for sure,” said Sharp when asked about the hustle of the junior varsity squad. “That is what’s frustrating with the varsity guys, we have good players, we have good talent, it’s just hard. That’s the most frustrating thing for me. Knowing it’s there, and then the boys not showing it. It is just a maturity thing. Some classes have it and some don’t. Maybe we will have some late bloomers and have a good sectional run. That’s what we can hope for anyway. With my guys, I gotta tell them it’s not getting any easier. We have a lot of conference play coming up and we have a tough sectional. So guys better figure it out.”
The Warriors (4-6) will travel to Columbia City Wednesday to face the 6-1-1 Eagles.