First-year coach Jon Kinsler hopes to utilize his tactical acumen to propel the Sandcrabs toward the playoffs.
Breeze on three. Breeze on three. One-two-three-breeze.
The Seabreeze boys soccer team’s pregame chant rang out in the cold night air Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex as an all-senior starting lineup hit the pitch on senior night.
Foreign exchange student Mathias Skaaning and third-year varsity player Michael Suzanne scored two goals in the first 11 minutes. Frazer Cross kicked the final goal, boosting the 'Crabs to a 3-2 win over Orange City University.
Seabreeze has regained its footing after opening the season with two losses against tough opponents Eau Gallie and Ponte Vedra. The Sandcrabs (5-2) have since won five in a row, including a 3-0 victory over Mainland on Dec. 3.
Seabreeze is rebuilding after last year’s graduations left a big gap in the defense with the departure of major playmakers Chance Shamlou and Noah Korfant.
“We were dealt some strong opponents to start,” first-year head coach Jon Kinsler said. “However, we competed and had chances to win both. I did not have to make many adjustments, just needed more consistency to the current strategies I was implementing.”
“The plan to get in the playoffs is to stay consistent and play our brand. If the game script changes, we have to be able to change our style.”
JON KINSLER, Seabreeze head coach
Kinsler brings years of elite playing and coaching experience. He played for Seabreeze and then Division 1 Georgia Southern University. He finished his career playing semi-professionally for USL2, formerly known as PDL, with the Baton Rouge Capitals.
He has been coaching competitive teams for the Ormond Beach Soccer Club, was also as an assistant coach for Seabreeze and has coached at Father Lopez High School.
“It feels great being back and handling the program at full capacity,” Kinsler said.
With one returning starter on the back line, Kinsler is relying on defenders Jake Vollinger, Matthew Vail and halfback Brian Dunlop to play much bigger roles, while looking for more scoring from Cross and Skaaning.
Coaches continue to work with goalkeeper A.J. Cole on communicating and directing the players consistently. Cole’s size and his ability to make big saves with a lot of chaos in the box has been increasingly beneficial as the season has progressed. The junior had 11 saves through his first three games in his first year playing full-time on the varsity squad.
“The plan to get in the playoffs is to stay consistent and play our brand,” Kinsler said. “If the game script changes, we have to be able to change our style.”
New to the coaching staff this year is former Seabreeze player Jordan Bowling. He is in the unique position to be able to work with his father, assistant coach Rob Bowling, and coach his youngest brother, player Peyton Bowling. He hopes to bring a player’s perspective to the team as he is closer to the their age and continues to play soccer.
“I think Jon brings more of an overall tactical perspective,” he said. “Rob brings the wisdom. He’s the life experience guy. I try to bring a little more first-hand direction, because I played on their team and still play.”