With the majority returning from last year’s team that advanced to the state quarterfinals, the North Little Rock soccer team has high expectations for this season.
After finishing 13-3 with one draw last season, the Charging Wildcats are presently 5-0 with one draw and 2-0 in the 6A/7A-South conference. They defeated West Memphis last week and Jonesboro this past Tuesday. The draw was to Searcy, and North Little Rock hosts Searcy in a conference showdown Tuesday.
"We came into this year knowing how each other plays," Wildcat Coach Marc Gill said. "We know our strengths and are working on our weaknesses."
Gill said the main strength is overall possession, and that the Wildcats keep control of the ball and control the midfield and do a good job of keeping their shape.
"Because the guys are friends off the field, they are so unselfish," Gill said. "We are working on our consistency, not just in the game but in prepping for the games, too."
At the end of a rebuilding process last year, the Charging Wildcats are seeing reluctance from opponents this season. Gill said if the other team plays well then North Little Rock responds and also performs well. The Wildcats usually score within the first 15-20 minutes and are recording four to five goals a contest.
"Sometimes when you score a goal, you can be complacent," Gill said. "We play as hard as before we score."
Gill touted the play of juniors Cory Jones and Peyton Land and senior Heriberto Marin. Tyrone Ewing and Bruno Elilio are scoring the most goals.