Josh Trejo says he still has much to learn about this edition of Polk County’s boys soccer team.
The second half of Wednesday’s Senior Night match with Avery will serve as a good lesson on which to build.
The Wolverines erupted for four goals and spent much of the final 40 minutes in the Vikings’ end of the field en route to a 6-0 victory at G.M. Tennant Stadium.
Polk improved to 3-2-1 overall, 2-2 in Western Highlands Conference play with the win. With the Wolverines and Vikings (1-4, 1-3) the only 1A teams in action this season, every match between the two has added importance in the race for the conference’s automatic playoff berth.
Matias Akers, one of the nine seniors that Polk honored at halftime, scored three goals, two of those in the second half, to lead the Wolverines.
“Matias is always a workhorse,” Trejo said. “He does everything that you ask and more. Sometimes I worry that he’s doing too much.
“This whole season overall has been crazy. I’ve been in quarantine three times so far this season. I feel like I haven’t had the chance to get to know my players and to be with these seniors. Tonight, all nine seniors played and all did very well. Overall, we played well.”
Wylie Rauschenbach gave Polk its first goal in the 11th minute, scoring off a throw-in that took one hop in the penalty area before Rauschenbach directed it into the net. Akers made it a 2-0 match in the 32nd minute, outleaping an Avery defender and striking a perfect header at the back post off a corner kick.
The goals then flowed at regular intervals in the final half, with Akers scoring twice, Carson Metcalf adding one on a long strike from the center of the field and goalkeeper Greyson Ball, taken out of net early in the half and inserted into the field, scoring on a penalty kick.
The buildup to each goal, rather than the final tally, is what Trejo found most encouraging as the Wolverines look to build some cohesiveness and momentum in the final two weeks of the season.
“We’re just so behind,” Trejo said. “Each game I’m just trying to figure out where to put people, what the best combinations are. Tonight, in the second half, just how we played the ball, playing simple, that’s what created those chances.”
Polk County is scheduled to travel Monday to Madison before hosting Owen on Wednesday and Madison on Thursday in its final two regular-season home games. The Wolverines conclude the season with road games at Avery on March 8 and March 10.