Hevel providing punch
Senior’s scoring leads De Soto to 2-1 week
De Soto soccer coach Mike Murphy wouldn't say Tuesday's 4-0 win over Kansas City Turner was his team's best performance of the 2004 season. But he was close.
Murphy was pleased with his team's play but said early-season wins over Basehor-Linwood and Perry-Lecompton ranked right up there with the shutout win.
"We moved the ball better than we have and marked much better," Murphy said. "We took steps toward being where we want to be, but we still have steps that need to be taken."
Murphy hoped these steps put his team in a position to make a run in the Kansas 4A post-season play as it did last year when it finished second in state.
The Wildcats have the star power needed to make such a run. Jordan Hevel appears ready and willing to find ways to score when the team needs him to. He has four hat tricks in the Wildcat's last seven outings.
Hevel scored three goals in wins over Eudora (10-0), Atchison (10-0), Paola (5-1) and Turner (4-0) and has 16 goals in just nine games this season. His hot play carried into the Turner game. He upped De Soto's lead to 2-0 when he found a loose ball in front of the goal, dribbled around two defenders, and rifled a shot into the right corner of the net with just over a minute left in the first half.
The senior padded the Wildcat lead in the second frame when he posted two more scores.
The first came with just less than 27 minutes remaining in the contest when Spike Delapena dished the ball to him in the open field. Hevel then dribbled around a Turner defender and scored.
His next score came about nine minutes later when Adam Wilcox found him open inside the box. Hevel took it from there to give the Wildcats an insurmountable 4-0 advantage.
Zach Bader opened the scoring for De Soto when he lined a shot toward the goal from the right wing in the 31st minute. Bear goalkeeper Travis Haffner made a play on the ball, but it just missed his outstretched hands and found its way into the back of the net.
The well-played game was the first since Murphy announced that he had made his final adjustments to the lineup. Now he just wanted to concentrate on figuring what style of play his team will adapt to, so he can build on it.
"Every team has a certain way they play," he said. "We're still figuring out what ours is. We have to find what position a player will play and what his role will be in that position."
The highlight performance came on the heels of a couple of disappointing outings by the Wildcats.
Last Thursday, the Wildcats broke a two-game losing skid with a 5-1 win over Paola. Despite the lopsided victory, Murphy said his team didn't play well at all.
"Their program is pretty new," Murphy said. "We're supposed to beat those teams with the athletes we have and our ball skills. We just didn't string together enough passes to make something happen."
Just the same, the Wildcats won on the offense of Hevel, who had three goals. Another senior, Kyle Bray, tallied the other two. Ben Saunders scored for Paola.
Monday's game at Louisburg wasn't much better than the win over Paola. In fact, Murphy said that his team's 4-2 loss was a carryover from the Paola contest.
"We just played not to lose rather than played physical soccer," Murphy said. "We didn't play the way we are supposed to."
De Soto scored both of it goals first before the Wildcat defense fell apart.
Hevel was the recipient of a Zach England pass, and he made the best of the opportunity. Bray scored a goal on a long free kick.
De Soto, 6-3, will be in action again at 4 p.m. Monday at Bonner Springs.