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With roster numbers down, Mustangs focus on playing smart

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S MENOMONIE SOCCER

Menomonie (WQOW) - High school sports were bound to look different this fall and for some teams that difference is on their roster.

Menomonie boys soccer has seen their team go from over 40 players last season, to just 21.

Head Coach Meagan Frank says families opting out due to health concerns, plus the loss of foreign exchange students, accounts for the dramatic drop.

Still the Mustangs are finding the silver lining of a compact crew.

"It is definitely a lot smaller than we've ever had in the past," says Frank. "There is some benefit in that, given that we can focus very pointedly on this particular group of kids. That part is going to be good, I think they are going to be very tight and connected with one another after this entire experience is over. And I'm really pleased with how focused this particular group is. They are here to play."

But it's not all beneficial.

A small roster means more minutes for players, along with the chance for injuries and fatigue.

The Mustangs have spent this first week focusing on smart mental decisions, that will help keep the team fresh the entire game.

"We're going to try to stay fit and make sure we can out-perform," says left wing Gabe Tronnier. "Play with our minds and not work our muscles too hard."

"We don't have too many players this year, so we're big on possession and trying to keep the ball," says goalie Jonathan Fenton. "Not make small mistakes that give up big opportunities for the other team."

Menomonie starts their season Tuesday, taking on Hudson.

Rebecca Fiala

Rebecca Fiala joined the News 18 Sports Team in December 2018 as our weekend sports anchor and sports reporter.

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