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Lowell soccer team building confidence in season of development

By all accounts and measurements, it’s been a tough boys’ soccer season for Lowell,

However, recent victories over Forest Hills Central and East Grand Rapids have given way to some guarded optimism.

The Red Arrows (5-8-3) who have lacked a striker’s mentality resurrected some of that in a 3-2 win over the Pioneers and in a 3-0 shutout against the Rangers.

“We’ve had trouble moving the ball and  creating space for scoring opportunities,” said Lowell soccer coach Rich O’Keefe.

A recent adjustment, however, helped spark some offense in recent O-K White wins.

O’Keefe,  in adjusting Lowell’s positioning, moved Spencer Lyon.

“We put Spencer up top for the first time this season so that he could create a different look,” O’Keefe explained.

In Lowell’s win over the Rangers, Lyon did a good job of creating opportunities for us.

Lyon scored the game’s first goal minutes into the second half.

Aaron Morris scored Lowell’s other two goals.

“We’ve been a defensive minded soccer team which has helped to keep us in games,” O’Keefe said. “However we’ve lacked striker mentality.”

Lowell lost three of its first five games by a goal.

“Our scoring is coming from various players. Our offense, though, hasn’t been consistent,” O’Keefe explained. “We have moments of brilliance, but we haven’t been able to maintain our focus and consistency for a full game.”

That inconsistency to start the year could be attributed to the many new faces called on to replace the loss of eight starters.

Now,  well into the start of the second half of the season, O’Keefe looks for the new players to blend in with their skill and work ethic.

“We’ve gotten a tremendous season from our goalie Liam Kelly. Our offense has run through Morris and A.J. Rocco. As we’ve become more balanced I’ve begun to see improvement.”

A defense which has been sfrong, was hurt early on by the loss of central defender Alex Heffron to an injury. He missed the first four games.

“Knowing how to win and displaying the ability to finish all comes with confidence,” O’Keefe said.

Which is something a young Red Arrow team appears to be building.