It wasn’t too long ago the Taft boys soccer program was fighting through the state playoffs. Their season came to an abrupt end last year with a 3-2 loss to Riverdale in the state quarter finals.
A new year, and with a new head coach, Ryan Ulicni, the Tigers are young, fast, and eager to return to the state playoffs this season.
“My number one goal this season is to teach these boys a little bit more about the game of soccer,” Ulicni said, following a stellar performance at their jamboree at Yamhill-Carlton claiming multiple goals against Yamhill-Carlton and Banks.
Ulicni said he feels confident about the season thus far.
“Our conditioning is excellent and I hope to use that to help take control of games," he said.
Taft will rely on the leadership of senior goal keeper and co-captain, William Brooks and outside back Genaro Flores. There is a strong presence of sophomores and freshmen who will share time on the field this season.
“We don’t have a lot of size, but we do have a lot of speed,” Ulicni said.
Team members, such as William Brooks and Jose Flores, have explosive speed and excellent ball control as well as most of the lineup.
The Tigers will have to work hard to outmatch their opponents this year and continue a streak of winning seasons and playoff appearances.