Parker soccer opens season on high note
EDGERTON--Jason Bier hopes to see his Janesville Parker Vikings play as one during his first season at the helm.
Tuesday's season-opening match against Edgerton marked the first step.
The Vikings needed less than seven minutes to get on the scoreboard in their 2013 campaign and walked away with a 3-1 victory over Edgerton at Racetrack Park.
“It was a little rough, but that's to be expected,” Bier said. “I saw progression today, which was good. I saw us put things together, so overall I'm very pleased.”
Sam Kisting found junior midfielder Stephen Presti making a run up the wide side of the field and Presti put the Vikings on the baord at the 6:39 mark. Presti doubled the lead when his blast from the top of the box snuck through the grasp of Edgerton keeper Jose Cruz midway through the first half.
Parker sophomore Diego Perez made it 3-0 just before halftime off a cross from Jon Heise, and the Vikings held on despite a goal from Edgerton's Jovanny Ochoa in the second half.
Cruz kept the Tide in the game with 14 saves, including a handful of impressive efforts.
It was the Vikings' first time taking on an opponent with a new system that includes just one forward.
“It's a little different way of doing things, so there's going to be an adjustment period,” Bier said. “Less long-ball, more possession, focus on staying together, attacking and defending as a unit.
“I'm playing one forward this year with a supporting offensive midfield, with the idea that the mid can play more support instead of being stuck on the other team's back line. Hopefully we can support our forwards more.”
In Presti, Perez, Kisting, junior Osman Espinoza-Jimenez and others, Bier should have some room for rotation between the forward and midfield positions.
At the back, senior Quinton Nauer returns as a sweeper and leader on defense.
“Quinton has been a starter for three years now,” Bier said. “It's nice to have a player with that knowledge, experience and size back there. He'll always be our last line of defense. And then we'll move him in for corners and hopefully get some goals out of him.”
The Vikings—who host Janesville Craig Tuesday at 7 p.m.—won just half a dozen games in 2012, but Bier would like to see this squad reach a .500 mark.
“I'm expecting a lot,” he said. “We're capable of being in every game, I just have to get them to believe it.”
PARKER 3, EDGERTON 1
Janesville Parker 3 0—3
Edgerton 0 1—1
JP—Stephen Presti (Sam Kisting), 6:39.
JP—Presti (Diego Perez), 23:37.
JP—Perez (Jon Heise), 36:52.
E—Jovanny Ochoa, 46:25.
Saves—Jacob Wobig (JP) 2, Jose Cruz (E) 14.