Sporting WCA

Soccer’s Impenetrable Back Line

It’s often said the best offense is a good defense and this proves true in many sports, but perhaps none more so than soccer. The Westminster soccer team is a good example of this, as they are lead by a strong core on the defensive line which has translated to a winning season for the Wildcats.

The backline is led by a solid group of three seniors and one sophomore who have stifled the attack of opposing teams throughout the season, posting six shutouts and pushing the Wildcats to a 10-8-1 record.

Seniors Connor Dolan, Will Wetzel, and Teddy Bacon provide experience and leadership as a result of being on the varsity team together for all four of their years in high school, and they have created a chemistry out on the field.

“Having played together for all of high school and middle school, we all kind of have a connection, and we know where to find each other on the field. Connor and I also have played together all 4 years on varsity, so it’s fun with the chemistry we have together,” said co-captain, Teddy Bacon.

The lone sophomore on the backline, Nathan Laughlin, has excelled in his first year starting at the varsity level, effortlessly filling the vacant position on the defensive line after the Wildcats graduated four seniors last year.

“Last year, when I had an opportunity to play with varsity because Will got injured, the game moved very fast and it was completely different than JV. But this year, the game has slowed way down and I feel confident and in control when I’m out there playing,” said Laughlin.

While the players on the Westminster back line have made playing defense look easy, they admitted it’s not as simple as it looks.

“Playing defense is actually pretty difficult because when the midfield or forwards have a breakdown, they still have the defense to make the play. On defense, though, you are the last line back and can’t afford to make mistakes. Each mistake is costly. We need to always be communicating to stay on the same page,”  said Bacon.

Bacon, along with his teammates on the back line, have done an excellent job of limiting those costly mistakes, and they have even contributed on the offensive side of the ball, scoring five goals as a defensive unit.

As the season begins to wind down, everyone along the backline shares a common goal for the playoffs.

“Win districts!” said Laughlin simply.

“My goal is to win districts and hopefully win out until the state championship. We have the ability, and we just need everyone at their top level,” said Bacon, echoing Laughlin.

For the three seniors on the defensive line, this is their last chance to win districts and make a run for a state title. It’s going to be tough, but with this core group on defense, never count them out.