Lathrop Soccer opens season with a road trip

FAIRBANKS, AK-Not only are interior baseball and track teams starting to get their spring seasons underway despite the weather but soccer teams will be on the pitch soon.
West Valley has already played a couple of games and now their rivals the Lathrop Malemutes will get their first action of the season.

Tomorrow is game one of a four game road trip for the Malemutes who will take on the Falcons of Thunder Mountain and Juneau-playing each team twice.

The Malemutes finished last season with a 9 and two record coming in second to West Valley. But this year the MAC seems to be wide open, so why not Lathrop?

The Malemutes have a fairly young team with the loss of seniors having moved on from last year. Some feel that's actually a good thing.

"Now we're going to be able to play more as a team because we're not going to have those one or two target players that we always play with. So I think, losing the seniors hurt a little bit but not enough to make a big difference," senior centerback Conner Matheny said.

He is a two sports athlete. Hunter Desmond, also a centerback for Lathrop is on of the school standout track atheltes. Desmond says conditioning will be huge given the potential drop in talent from last year's team.

"We don't have as much talent as we did last year but we definitely have the talent to compete. Uh, being more conditioned we're just trying to come out and play really physical and real hard for as long as we can and try to just make teams not want to play us anymore," Desmond said.

Sophomore midfielder Braeden Hoppough is one of the younger players and is optimistic about the team this year.

"Offensively we're strong. Defensively we're strong as well. We just need to work around um, you know, small things um, fundamentals and all and we should be fine," Hoppough said.

Head coach Sean Matheny feeds off of what the team does and coaches appropriately.

"I go with how they're setting the tone. They're tone is to win the conference and go undefeated in the conference. Um, so that's the tone that I coach with. If that's what they want to do that's what I'm going to coach to do," Matheny said.