Bleacher Bits: They still have to play the game
When I first saw the score, I thought possibly MaxPreps had a glitch in it.
The Los Molinos High soccer team opened its season at home Dec. 10 with a 23-0 victory against Biggs. Bulldog scoring included one player scoring 14 goals, one who netted five, a three-goal hat trick and a single goal.
At first I asked myself what a team was doing scoring 23 goals in an obviously one-sided soccer game, but after assessing the matter more closely I realized a few things, with the biggest being — what else is there to do in a soccer game?
I have never been a soccer player, but I realize the point of the game is to take shots and hopefully put them in the goal. Even if you sub in your entire bench to rest your starters, what do you tell them to do?
There needs to be a level of integrity to any sporting contest, and while the Bulldogs could have elected to work on their passing — which they very well may have done anyway — you can't tell a kid not to play the game.
Biggs is still trying to establish its soccer program, and lopsided score differentials have been a part of the building process. Last year the Wolverines went 0-11 and were outscored 125-13, including losses of 17-0 and 14-2 in their two meetings with Los Molinos.
You can't tell kids to go out on the pitch and play keep-away for the entire contest and to not shoot, they're trying to improve their skills and demonstrate their knowledge of the team's offense and defense.
In the same manner it would have done the Wolverines no good if Los Molinos directed soft shots directly at their goalie and did not attempt anything on offense.
Soccer has no mercy rule and already pretty much has a running clock, with a couple odd minutes of stoppage time thrown in. There's just no ideal way to prevent a game from getting out of hand due to disparity in players' skill levels or development.
On the positive side for Biggs, each goal resulted in them getting the opportunity to restart their offense, which did manage three shots on goal. Their defense and keeper or keepers faced a total of 40 shots so it wasn't as if Los Molinos was shooting at an empty net.
There are sure to be more growing pains for Biggs' fledgling soccer program, and Los Molinos is not going to win many more games by 23 goals, but you still have to let them play the game.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.