Sports

Move pays off for Bremerton High School boys soccer team

Bremerton High School boys soccer coach Randy Lund shifted his most prolific goal-scorer from the forward position to midfield in a move to create more offense two weeks ago.

That might sound peculiar — why push a potent offensive threat away from the opposition’s goal? — but the move has worked, at least through three games.

After managing two goals in two matches to open the season, the Knights (2-1-2 overall, 1-0 league) have scored 10 goals in three. That’s an average of more than three goals per game since Lund moved senior Matt Olson into the middle-third of the field.

“We were really struggling in the middle of the field,” Lund said. “We’re a different team now.”

Lund approached last year’s Olympic League leading scorer after the Knights failed to score a goal in a 1-0 loss to Kingston High School March 17.

He asked Olson, who finished with 23 goals in 2009, if he would be willing to play midfield, a position that generally requires players to create scoring opportunities for others rather than finish them themselves.

“He just looked at me and said, ‘Sure, coach, whatever is best for the team,’” Lund said. “Being the unselfish kind of guy he is, he stepped into midfield and we’ve been playing better.”

Bremerton scored seven goals in its most recent match, a 7-1 win against Port Angeles High School last week, and Lund said Olson’s presence in midfield was a large reason for that productivity.

With good ball-handling skills and vision, Olson is getting the ball to the forwards in positions where they can score.

Olson’s primary job now is to set up his teammates and act as a field general.

“He’s taken on more of a creator role,” Lund said.

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