Laurel boys soccer team season ends

Outlook publisher
Courtesy photo. Sophomore Bryce Adkins scrambles to defend a Whitefish player during Saturday’s playoff game.

This was a season for checking off boxes for coach Leroy VanderPool.
• Winning record. Check.
• Beat Central. Check.
• Host a state playoff game. Check.
• Say goodbye to some awesome seniors while looking to the future. Check.

The Laurel Locomotives did everything they could to win its first state playoff game in recent memory on Saturday.
Even though LHS outshot Whitefish 7-3 in regulation and double overtime, the Pilots found the net in the PK shootout to win and to move on to the state semifinals.
“I am bummed, no doubt about it,” said VanderPool. “Truth be told, I was very happy with our play in that game and when it came to a shootout, I told myself I would live with either result.”
The PK shootout was a gut check for some players and it was a tremendous amount of pressure on the players.
VanderPool didn’t want to waste too much time talking with a reporter about a 0-0 game, instead the data-driven coach recounted a record-setting year and a program that made great strides this season versus last.
“It nothing else, this season began to show us that we all have a taste for more,” he said.
For example, last year LHS allowed 16 goals in during conference play. This year that number was cut down to six. The number of goals scored by LHS increased as did the time of possession.
“Even though we played a high-speed of game this year, our passing efficiency increased and we also had a 50% increase in goals,” he said.
In the last three games of the year, the team had 100 more passes than last season.
VanderPool graduates a host of outstanding seniors – including Luis Vega, who was the leading scorer in Eastern A as well as the state for most of the season.
Seniors Logan Jones, Kaleb Ripley, Cadden Lowell, Braden Mcllvain, Jared Woody and Vega will leave tough cleats to fill but VanderPool is confident some of the younger players will continue to grow and gain confidence.
VanderPool had a ton of players turnout for the team, so some of the younger players didn’t get the field time needed to grow.
The boys will attend the Oregon State University camp this summer for the second year.
While he praised all of the players, he wanted to bring attention to the efforts of sophomore Jordan Renier. Renier was tasked with tracking down the opponent’s attacking player and usually having to catch up to them.
“Without him successfully doing that, we would have been in a world of hurt,” Vanderpool said.
It was a year for growth for Laurel and now VanderPool is ready to aim higher next season.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961


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