Wolfpack slips past arch-rival Unity Christian Knights 1-0

HULL-The Western Christian boys’ soccer team dodged a few bullets en route to a 1-0 victory over Unity Christian Monday, May 8.

In the 33rd minute, Jeff De Kam of Western Christian made a critical save on a penalty kick. This was one of 10 saves for DeKam that night. In the 45th minute, the first and only score of the game occurred. Reuben Iedema sent a free kick into the middle of the field. Then there was a mad scramble for the ball. During the scramble, a Unity Christian player tipped the ball into the back of its own net for the Wolfpack’s 1-0 win.

“I thought we played alright. Our ball control was definitely not there tonight,” said Western Christian coach Sou Baccam. “We dodged a few bullets with Unity’s shots going off the post. We need to work on our spacing a bit. I felt like we were too bunched up, which creates more traffic. Our transition game was OK. Pretty classic Western (Christian vs) Unity (Christian) game.”

The Wolfpack finished the night with 12 total shots on goal. Jeff DeKam was perfect on the night in saves, going 10-for-10 on the night.

“Both teams were playing pretty physical. Defensively we played good,” coach Baccam said. “We made a few mistakes, but Clay (Van’t Hul) stepped up and made some key defensive moves. Jeff De Kam did great in goal. It was a good team win and everyone contributed. It was a good way to start out our busy week with four games.”

Western downs Warriors 2-1

SIOUX CENTER-Going into its non-conference game with Sioux Center, the Western Christian boys’ soccer team new it would have a fight on its hands. That prediction proved to be true as the Wolfpack came out on top 2-1 following a 4-3 decision on penalty kicks Tuesday, May 9.

The Warriors may have come into the game with only two wins over six defeats, but Western Christian was not going to take Sioux Center lightly.

“We knew it was going to be a battle all game and it proved it. Playing back-to-back days (after a game with Unity Christian Monday, May 8) it was really nice to see the guys come out and perform the way they did,” said Wolfpack coach Sou Baccam.

The first goal of the game came on a free kick at the 11-minute mark of the game. Carter Wibeen got the benefit of a tripping call just outside the Warriors’ penalty box. Kobi Baccam elected to take the direct kick and he used his right leg to curve the ball into the left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. That lead stayed at 1-0 for halftime, but coach Baccam noted his team could have been up more.

“The first half we had two shots off the post so that was disappointing that they didn’t go in, but it was good to see the guys putting pressure on them,” coach Baccam said. “Sioux Center is very quick with their passes and they tried to control the tempo. I think the pressure we put on helped to swing things our way.”

But at the 38-minute mark Sioux Center found a hole in the Wolfpack defense, resulting in a one-on-one situation with Western Christian goalie, Jeff De Kam, and a Warriors striker. The Sioux Center player was able to dribble around De Kam and got a wide-open lane to the goal for a 1-1 tie.

The score remained tied 1-1 after regulation resulting in overtime. Neither team was able to score in the two extra frames and the game went into penalty kicks. During the penalty kicks, the Wolfpack got goals from Chris Baccam, Brenden Timmerman, Carter Wibben and Reuben Iedema. The difference in the score was a result of two saves from De Kam, one during the regular penalty kicks and the final during sudden-death penalty kicks.

In the end, coach Baccam said he was pleased with how his team played in this game despite having Clay Van’t Hul out due to injury.

“I was a little unsure how our defense would react since Clay Van’t Hul was out with a foot injury, but the guys stepped up and filled the position,” he said. “We need to work on getting our shots off a little quicker. All-in-all I’m happy with the way we’ve been playing lately. The guys have turned it around and our focus is getting to where it needs to be.”

As a team, the Wolfpack had 11 shots on goal and three corner kicks. De Kam finished with eight saves as the keeper.

Wolfpack

victorious in OT

HULL-Western Christian did not have the kind of start it was looking for in a non-conference soccer game with West Sioux Thursday, but the Wolfpack had just enough to nip the Falcons on a penalty in overtime for a 2-1 victory.

The game was scoreless after the first half and coach Sou Baccam said his team’s play was not quite up to par.

“We came out flat and made too many mistakes in the first half. Credit to West Sioux; they took us out of the game right away,” he said. “We need to make sure we have good touches on the ball, make good decisions and not gamble too much to turn the ball over. We made good runs on our attacks, but didn’t get the ball through their defense.”

Western Christian made the correct adjustments during intermission and scored a goal via the right foot of Brenden Timmerman, after Chris Baccam found Timmerman open with a pass at the 44-minute mark of regulation.

“The second half was a little better than the first. Out possessions were better and we didn’t have quite as many gaps as we did in the first half,” coach Baccam said.

The Wolfpack defense was able to keep West Sioux off the board for the next 24 minutes, but at the 68-minute mark the Falcons kicked a floater that got over the out-stretched arms of Western Christian goalie Jeff De Kam to tie the game and force overtime.

The Wolfpack quickly put the West Sioux goal aside to say the least, only using two minutes of the five-minute overtime period to score the game-winning goal. The Western Christian defense forced the Falcons to give up the ball, resulting in a break-away for Carter Wibben. Wibben was soon fouled inside the penalty box, resulting in a penalty kick. Kobi Baccam was given the honors and was able to send the Wolfpack home victorious.

That said, coach Baccam noted his team still has room to improve.

“We need to get more focused and play the way we’re capable of playing. Our play wasn’t up to par, but it was nice to get the win,” he said. “West Sioux is a good team and we will have to come out and play since we face them first round in tournament play (Monday, May 22).”

Western Christian ended the night with seven shots on goal as a team. De Kam had nine saves as goalie.

Rival Knights defeat Wolfpack 5-2

ORANGE CITY-Western Christian dug itself into a deep hole after the first 45 minutes of game action and that early hole proved to be the difference in a 5-2 non-conference boys’ soccer defeat to rival Unity Christian Friday in Orange City.

The Knights got on the board five minutes into the contest and five minutes later the score was 2-0. Unity Christian continued to find holes in the Wolfpack defense, scoring goals at the 26-minute mark and the 27-mintue mark for a 4-0 halftime score.

“The first half we started out flat. We gave them too many good looks and they capitalized on them,” said Western Christian coach Sou Baccam. “I felt we made things too difficult on ourselves. When we get down by that much it’s hard not to hang our heads. We talked about that at halftime. We need to encourage each other and be supportive of each other.”

Despite the defeat, the Wolfpack was pleased to flip the script in the second half, outscoring Unity Christian 2-1. The Western Christian goals were scored by Reuben Iedema on a free kick and Brenden Timmerman on a deflected ball by the Knights’ goalie. The Knights scored the final goal of the contest.

“The second half was much better. We had some good looks and put some good pressure on them. Credit Unity, they took it to us right away and we couldn’t dig ourselves out of it,” coach Bacaam said. “It’s been a long week for us as a team and it will be good for the guys to get some rest this weekend. All-in-all, we had a good week going 3-1 and we’ve seen some good things come out of this week. We realized our potential and have to continue to play to it.”

Jeff De Kam was the keeper and he finished the night with seven saves. The Wolfpack are now 6-7 on the season overall and are 2-3 in the Lakes Conference.

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