A scintillating four-goal performance by sophomore sensation Niklas Boedts would be the catalyst to a 6-2 thrashing of the visiting Panthers. Hosting Kentucky Wesleyan (2-4) (0-3) at a brisk Wood Road Field in Kenosha Sunday afternoon, Parkside’s men’s soccer team would ignite in the second half as if they had just been shot out of a cannon.
“I simply stressed to our guys the crucial aspect of settling down offensively and playing at our speed,” said Parkside head coach Rick Kilps. “I give assistant coach Jason Zitzke and the rest of the staff a lot of credit for successful personnel changes and better utilizing our skill.”
Lack of offensive rhythm exemplified Kilps’ analysis as both squads suffered relatively slow starts. Parkside’s senior forwards Johnson Thao and Cyril Simmons especially had a reason to show their frustration. Ill-advised deflections and Kentucky goal-keeper Ryan Samuels’ superb work in the box made executing quality shots difficult for the Rangers.
Such a scoreless drought would continue at 39:38 as the Rangers would squander a terrific scoring opportunity from close range. A marvelous Johnson juke would result in a shot sailing over the high post.
UWP controlled time of ball possession for the majority of the first half which would epitomize their 13-4 advantage in first half shots.
Singing the same song as recent matches, Parkside’s offensive prowess would finally pay dividends yet again; however, unlike previous grind-it-out victories, the Rangers would celebrate such an achievement with a scoring barrage.
At 46:00, a veteran caliber cross field pass in the box by freshman Kinkade Lo would set up Boedts for a header. The goal, nestling nicely into the right corner of the net, would provide a quick 1-0 lead to begin the second half for Parkside.
However, before the Rangers could even dial up a victory number, KWC would answer with a score of their own from freshman Luke Church knotting it up at one.
Off a beautiful chip pass from Johnson, Parkside would reclaim the advantage as Boedts’ one-on-one maneuver passed a helpless Samuels would lead to his second goal. Just minutes later, Boedts would tee off on another as he smashed a penalty kick into an already worn out right corner; this time however, he would showcase his versatility by sending the kick top shelf.
Collegiate soccer players would usually be satisfied with a hat trick and a 3-1 lead. Not Boedts.
The 6’3 German would cap off his career accomplishment with a goal at 68:17 from an Andrew Krenzian assist that not only left the crowd in a frenzy, but truly personified Boedts’ humble nature.
“I credit my teammates for a great win and giving me the opportunity to be at the right place at the right time,” said Boedts. “It’s unbelievable. I didn’t come out today expecting to score four goals.”
Potential young talent would take over from there as promising freshman Austin Robb would fire a bullet off a deflected Dennis Orellana pass that would graze the post and find its way into the back of the net.
In an attempt to salvage the afternoon, Kentucky’s Mitch Jones would lob an unassisted goal passed Parkside freshman net-minder Palani Apauakehau to cut the deficit to 5-2.
At 82:23, a brilliant sequence of passes courtesy of Robb and defenseman Jason Moxley would result in the outburst’s finale. Jon Bebeau’s fourth goal of the year would seal the deal as the Rangers rolled to a 6-2 victory.
Seven different Parkside players would contribute at least one assist; Thao, Moxley, Krenzian, Robb, Orellana, Lo, and Adrian Magana. Boedts would finish with a whopping eight points doubling his previous total and Robb would chip in with three. Senior backstop Greg Fischer would perform an admirable 76 minutes allowing only one goal.
The Rangers, now boasting a 3-1-1 Great Lakes Valley Conference record, get set to pack up the buses and prepare for a road trip beginning Friday, September 25th at 6:30 pm. Featuring a conference match, the Bellarmine University Knights will host Parkside in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The young players did an exceptional job,” agreed Kilps. “But hey, we’re concerned about having success now, and that’s exactly what we’re are going to do.”