By Dave Maxwell
Four foreign exchange students are helping the Bobcat boys soccer team improve this season.
“We’re a senior-laden team,” said coach Lief Tokerud, “but they don’t have a lot of experience. These boys do.” The four are Diogo Gandra from Portugal, Henrik Skjolden from Norway, and Soeren Kohnert and Ole Hensellek, both from Germany.
“They play good ball,” he said. “They play quicker and receive the ball better than the other kids, and they pass much quicker. It has really helped the rest of the players. They are starting to play better and quicker because of these four.”
This past weekend, the Bobcats scored two first half goals to beat visiting Yerington 2-0. “It was pretty intense, a good battle,” Tokerud said. Yerington was the state runner-up last year to four-time state champion Incline.
“Our defense has been good as of late,” he said. “We’ve only let in one or two goals per game, but we just haven’t scored much either.” The Cats (4-5-2, 2-3) have scored 16 goals, but allowed 17.
Against Yerington, Gandra beat three defenders in the corner, deftly dribbled along the endline, and made an incredible assist to set up a tap-in goal by Richi Gimenez Carrazana. Gandra’s second goal of the half came when he deftly got through the Lion defenders and beat the keeper after a great pass from Skjolden. Bobcat goalkeeper Seth Robertson also made an awesome stop on a penalty kick.
Today, White Pine travels to Battle Mountain (6-7-1, 0-4). They have beaten the Longhorns twice this season, 1-0 at the Spring Creek tournament Sept. 2, and 2-0 in Ely in league play Sept. 16.
“We plan to make the playoff this year,” Tokerud said, “Our offense is starting to gel a lot now, and that’s the key, because our defense has been solid.”
He said the team had a memorial banner in place for the late Jason Nelson, who played with the Bobcats last year, but died in a car accident last October, and Yerington coach Miguel Sanchez took the time to pay respectful condolences about a player he remembered from games last year.
Two upcoming important matches for the Bobcats will be at home with league leaders Dayton and Fernley Oct. 21-22.