At the beginning of the 2017 season, new Holy Angels head boys soccer coach James See felt his team would have to have numerous goal scorers in order to put together a potent offense.
While Holy Angels started with a scoring-by-committee approach, a formation change gave senior Jackson Arms the chance to become the go-to guy for the Stars.
Arms responded with 10 goals and four assists in four games from Sept. 12 through Sept. 21.
“We were scoring by committee, we had six different scorers in our first three or four games,” See said after holy Angels defeated St. Croix Lutheran 6-1 Sept. 19. “We did a formation shift last week, and that allowed Jackson to go higher up the field.
“He has scored for four games in a row and he has been able to create chances that we weren’t necessarily getting.”
While he is surprised by how well his season has gone, Arms entered the season hoping to put together a memorable senior campaign.
“We really build up well off our midfield,” Arms said. “I have got a couple goals off services and I have put a couple headers in, but it’s all building up play in the midfield and finishing it off.”
A 3-0 victory over Benilde St. Margaret’s pushed the Stars’ record to 9-1-2 in its first 12 games.
“We knew there was talent in the group and good depth, but the reality is that the shift in mentality here has been, and it’s cliché, but it’s one step at a time,” See said. “There’s nothing but the task at hand, and the shift in mentality is probably what has gotten us here.
“One would say our record has been great thus far, but October is where we want to be.”
Perhaps more impressive than the Stars’ record is the fact that they have played so well without starting keeper Shea O’Rourke, who is currently rehabbing an injury that has kept him from logging a single minute so far this season. In response to O’Rourke’s injury, see has played multiple keepers this season in order to properly rest all of his options in the net.
“We’ve changed our model, Alex [Titze] is our goalkeeper coach and our model has been that all our goalkeepers train with us,” See said. “The big change has been getting those guys acclimated to the group.
“I give a lot of credit to Alex and the goalkeeper model, getting three or four guys trained in together.”
With three regular season games remaining before the start of the section tournament, Holy Angels will look to get some key players back from injury.
“Getting healthy will be key,” See said. “Davis [Thalhuber] has missed the last four games and he is probably our best soccer player in terms of a soccer mind and skill, and now we’re working him back.
“Aidan [Smith] had been hurt, Cormac [Huyen] started our first three games and then tore his hip and is probably three weeks away, so it’s just managing those bodies.”
Holy Angels will close out its regular season against St. Paul Academy at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at St. Paul Academy and Summit School.
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