Somerset soccer team tops 2017 win total

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Before August was complete, the Somerset boys soccer team had already topped its 2017 win total.

The Spartans improved to 3-3 for the 2018 season with wins over Hayward and Spooner last week. A quick start carried the Spartans to a 4-1 win over Hayward last Tuesday. The Spartans thoroughly dominated Thursday’s game at Spooner, winning 5-0.

The week was marked by seniors showing they can succeed in a number of larger roles this season. Two seniors scored their first varsity goals and another became a new scoring threat, scoring twice against Hayward.

Senior Nathan Dirkes scored his first varsity goal to cap the win at Spooner. He scored 10 goals on JV as a freshman, but was moved to defense on the varsity as a sophomore.

Senior Brennan Sheridan scored his first varsity goal in the win against Hayward. Sheridan was the Spartans’ goalkeeper each of the past three seasons, but is playing out this season. These two, and many of the Spartan veteran players, have been used in a number of roles to start the season. That’s by design, according to Spartan coach Bill Roll.

“Having so many guys with position flexibility makes life so much easier,” Roll said, especially with the Spartans dealing with several injuries already this season.

Senior Dominic Abbott is the player who made himself into a scoring threat. Abbott’s first goal came 9:06 into the game. Outside midfielder Logan Giossi fed a long lead pass to Abbott up the left sideline. Instead of making a long run toward the goal, Abbott booted a high-arcing shot from the sideline, 30 yards out. The Hayward goalkeeper tried to charge Abbott, then reconsidered and couldn’t get back to the net, as the shot found the far end of the goal.

Passing was the best asset the Spartans had in the win. Erik Osorio got the ball along the right sideline, feeding a perfectly timed pass to Aaron Shartin-Folkert, who was slicing up the middle of the field. The pass was timed so no defender could stick with Folkert, and he scored off the breakaway at 12:31.

Somerset led 2-1 at halftime. The wet ball did the Spartans a favor early in the second half. The Hayward keeper couldn’t control the slippery ball after a Spartan shot. Sheridan followed the ball to the goal, and pounced on the rebound for a goal.

Abbott scored on another deep kick for the final Spartan score at 72:16. A corner kick was booted out to the 18, where Abbott was stationed. He immediately sent the ball back toward the goal, getting it past the Hayward keeper.

“He’s giving us more than we expected,” Roll said of Abbott. “He’s shown us a lot. He’s definitely made a big improvement.”

Joining Dirkes in the scoring column in the win at Spooner was Osorio (twice), Giossi and Folkert.

The Spartans return to action this Thursday and Friday. They will play at Barron Thursday, before returning home to face Osceola on Friday.