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Published September 25, 2013

Rebuilding effort in motion as Troy soccer takes aim at postseason

» click to enlarge «
Troy senior Tom Carlson (13) battles for the ball in a game against Athens earlier this season. The Colts were 3-5-1 at press time.

TROY — It’s not a situation he’s particularly accustomed to.

In fact, Brian Zawislak has never had to do what he’s doing now with his Troy High soccer team.


“That’s what it is this year,” he said. “In my seven seasons here with the boys, we’ve never had to do this. But in the long run, I think this is really going to help our program and this team.”

When last season ended, the roster overhaul began.

From that team, only eight varsity veterans are back this fall.

Of the 11 starters in 2012, only two hold the same position now.

“It’s been an adjustment, that’s for sure,” senior forward Jacob Meissner said. “We had to change things around. … This is a process, and it’s taken a lot of work to get used to each other.”

At press time, Troy was 3-5-1 overall and 0-3-0 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

Zawislak said he’s seen plenty of ups and downs so far, as his guys battle the mental approach of every game while trying to find some consistency.

“We knew coming in it was going to be a challenge,” he explained. “But we still expect to compete in every game. As I’ve watched the guys this year, the ability to win is certainly there. The results just haven’t shown up yet.”

He specifically noted a Sept. 10 game against Troy Athens.

The Colts “got most of the chances early on,” Athens coach Todd Heugh said.

But the youth and inexperience showed, as Troy allowed the game’s first goal with just 20 seconds remaining in the first half.

The result was an eventual 3-0 loss to an unbeaten team, but even Heugh said the game was closer than the final score.

“It’s little mental mistakes here and there,” Zawislak said. “You have to expect it with a team like this, but I know they are getting better. If you compare the first few practices and games to where we are now, the improvement is there.”

So is the confidence.

“There’s plenty of confidence here right now,” Meissner said. “We started slow, and we knew that would happen, but since then, I think we’ve been going in the right direction. At first, we kind of had groups on the team. Now, it’s like it’s one team, all working together.”

With the Red Division crown an impossibility, all focus from here on out is geared toward the district round.

“I really like the positive outlook these guys have; they believe it’s only going to get better,” Zawislak said. “If we’re playing our best soccer a month or so from now, that’s the goal.”

“It’s all about effort from here on out,” Meissner said. “This has to be about Troy High soccer and the legacy we all want to carry. That’s on us now.”

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