The Grand County High School boys soccer team fell to 1-6 on the season with a 4-3 loss to Gunnison despite a hat trick by senior Koby Sobremesana on Tuesday, April 7, and a 4-1 loss to Wasatch Academy on Thursday, April 9.
Red Devil boys soccer coach Mick Dunlavey said he wasn’t satisfied with the team performance, emphasizing the word “team,” in the close loss to Gunnison. The Bulldogs and Red Devils were tied at 2 goals apiece at halftime before Gunnison squeaked out the victory, an outcome Dunlavey claimed responsibility for.
“From (the coaching staff’s) point of view as a team, their performance was not acceptable,” Dunlavey said. “What we teach and preach in practice is not being applied in the games. We are looking for a performance based on a team-first attitude and visible implementation of learned skills and tactics, with an attitude of fighting for each other until the end of the game. We did not observe this.”
Dunlavey said he complimented some of the players on their individual performance, but his philosophy is “a team effort, sacrificing egos and self interest for the team, and a hunger to win as a team.”
“If players are looking for constant praise, minimal expectations and low standards they will not get that from me,” Dunlavey said. “I am here to challenge them mentally and physically to set the bar high as players, students and as a team. At this point in the season we are not where we should be and I accept that as my fault. I have not been able to motivate them to take ownership of their team. When they do take ownership of the team, you will know it because you will be able to see it in their performance.”
Prior to the Wasatch Academy game, Dunlavey said he had no doubt the Red Devils could succeed if they began trusting in themselves and their coaches, calling the Gunnison performance a bump that will occur when a coach implements a culture change.
The Red Devils found themselves in a 3-0 hole before Sobremesana tacked on a goal in the second half, but despite the loss to the Tigers, Dunlavey said he saw the team turn a corner in the match.
“The boys gave their all to play as a team, as a family, and implemented techniques and tactics that they have been taught,” he said. “… They fell behind 3-0, but didn’t give up the fight, and most importantly, didn’t give up on themselves.”
Dunlavey said the second half against Wasatch Academy was the best he’s seen team play all season.
“They communicated superbly, passed the ball efficiently, had scoring chances and worked every second of the 80 minutes,” he said.
Red Devils look for team effort down the stretch
“The Boys gave their all to play as a team, as a family, and implemented techniques and tactics that they have been taught … They fell behind 3-0, but didn’t give up the fight, and most importantly, didn’t give up on themselves.” – Mick Dunlavey, Grand boys soccer coach, on the Red Devils’ performance versus Wasatch Academy
When: Tuesday, April 21, 4 p.m.
Where: Grand County High School soccer pitch, 608 S. 400 East
The Red Devils were also scheduled to play at Manti on Tuesday, April 14. They’re scheduled to play at Carbon in a non-region game on Thursday, April 16 before returning home to play Emery on Tuesday, April 21, their first home match since March 12. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.