Key scorers giving Pine River soccer squad a major boost

LEROY -- Pine River’s soccer team has turned around its fortunes from a year ago and Cuyler Huffman and Schroeder Vanderhoof have played no small role in those efforts.

Huffman, a senior captain, has nine goals in seven games.

“I led the team in my sophomore year with five goals and led the team last year with six,” he said. “We have a person with 11 goals so far (Nate Millen). So we’re having a pretty good season.”

Huffman and other players performed on teams during the offseason to get ready for the 2012 fall campaign. It’s his fourth varsity season and he’s a four-year starter.

“The key to our scoring is we’ve been doing really well staying with the last defender and having one of our back players chip it over the defender and one of us running to get a breakaway and tap it in.

“Whenever I get the ball, I make sure I place it right where it needs to be. My passing is where it needs to be.”

Huffman takes pride in his foot skills.

Vanderhoof, a Bucks junior, is in his third varsity season and continues to play at the forward spot. He’s been among the Bucks’ offensive leaders.

“The No. 1 thing is we’re more mature,” he said. “We’re a year older and have played another year together. That’s the biggest thing.”

Communication has improved from last season, as far as Vanderhoof is concerned. Last week, he scored three goals. He’s already close to his total of four goals from all of last fall.

“I’m more confident and with that, I’m passing the ball more, which helps,” he said.

Vanderhoof is working on his dribbling to be a stronger asset for the Bucks.

“We need to play better. If we play well things will come,” Vanderhoof said.

Pine River has debuted a new coach with Jenny Hoaglund this season.

“The team is playing very well together,” Huffman said. “We’re 11 players. This year, we’ve come together and have played as a single unit instead of separate players. It’s a new chapter for Pine River soccer. Our coach works well with the team. I think we’ll have more wins than losses.”