Prep boys' soccer: Kearns ready to turn the corner

Prep boys' soccer • Kearns started the season 0-7.
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There have been periods of play when Kearns soccer coach Don Knapp can smile.

The Cougars control the ball, their passes are crisp, their defense is tight and they're playing smart soccer.

But those moments that occur in most games don't last long enough.

Inevitably, there will be a missed shot on goal or a mistake on defense and sequences of too much one-on-one play.

The result is another loss.

Kearns has started the season 0-7, but Knapp is hoping the Cougars will return from spring break with enthusiasm and energy along with a team concept that will help them pick up their first win of the season.

"I think a win would definitely help solidify what we're doing and give us confidence we need," he said. "Right now we don't have confidence to keep it going. There are times when we play very well, but then we lose track of what we're doing."

The Cougars started off the season by losing two games by one goal. It was a pair of games Knapp believes the team should have won.

"We had opportunities in both games," he said. "We had several chances on an open goal, but our kids got too excited and put it over the net or to the side. Some of them haven't been in that position before. We've got to control the ball more. We're having a hard time with that. And cut down on shots on our goalie and get more shots. We don't have that opportunity to finish."

Knapp, who took over as coach in 1990, doesn't worry much about preseason records, but he knows that a win could give this team the confidence it needs to compete for one of the four playoff spots available in Region 2.

The Cougars haven't made the playoffs since 2009, but despite their slow start, Knapp still believes this team can qualify for the postseason. Kearns has three players back who were ineligible due to grades, and their return could help Kearns gain some momentum at the perfect time.

"I think the main thing for us right now is we have to start playing together as a team," Knapp said. "If we can play as a team, we can easily pull out some big wins and we'll have a shot at the tournament."