Parkview Baptist boys soccer coach Roger Charcap can list technical changes. Tripp Gautreaux and Ryan Cunningham provide a blunt assessment.
The two seniors say a new offense and a new attitude have powered the Eagles to a surprising 12-0-3 record going into Saturday’s game with St. Michael.
“I know people didn’t expect much from us. We don't have any full-time starters back and a lot of JV guys had to come in and start,” said Gautreaux, who plays right wing. “But I saw a difference right away in our first game. Not only did our guys have more talent than people thought, the attitude was awesome. We just played and everybody took a role. No complaints.”
Charcap certainly has no complaints about his Eagles, who are fifth in the latest LHSAA Division III power ratings. The only local team better is University High (10-2-2) at No. 2. PBS has tied Neville, Vandebilt Catholic and De La Salle.
The offensive leaders are underclassmen. Andrew Aucoin leads the Eagles with 24 goals. Cole Evans, Malik Abraham and Myles Doherty are other offensive threats. Doherty is the playmaker who fills soccer’s version of a point guard for Parkview.
“We changed our whole scheme to fit the guys we have,” Charcap said. “We do a lot more attacking on offense. It is tough for an opponent to shut them all down. We also push extremely hard for 10 to 15-minute bursts. The idea is to keep the play on our side of the field and keep attacking until we score.”
Cunningham, a center midfielder, is part of the revamped defense that features several players who never played varsity soccer before this season. He says the move to a 3-5-2 alignment from Parkview’s traditional 4-3-3 took him by surprise.
“We’ve played a 4-3-3 as long as I’ve been here and this is my sixth year (in the PBS soccer program),” Cunningham said. “But it works for us. We do have more balance on offense, so we don’t rely on one or two guys to do everything.
“Defensively, we caught on to the new alignment pretty fast, and we keep getting better at working together. There is still room for us to improve as a team. I like that.”
And so does Charcap. Tying traditional power Vandebilt Catholic was a confidence-booster. The big test will come in two weeks, when the Eagles host District 5 rival U-High.
“U-High also has a lot of guys in new roles,” Charcap said. “It should be interesting.”