Boys soccer | season preview

Team MVP Ben Molnar returns at striker for Chesterton boys soccer squad

2011-08-14T13:50:00Z 2012-10-01T01:50:13Z Team MVP Ben Molnar returns at striker for Chesterton boys soccer squadBy Jim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com

Last season, Chesterton's Ben Molnar was moved to the opposite end of the pitch and played striker.

Based on last year's results, Molnar probably won't be moving back to defense this season.

Molnar was the team MVP as a junior, tying 2008 Chesterton grad Jordan Lewis for the single-season school record for assists (16). He also added 12 goals for the Trojans, who advanced to the regional championship.

"Having played defense, he knew what kind of runs were used," Chesterton coach Jamie Sensibaugh said of Molnar, who has spent most of his 13 years of soccer on defense. "Understanding those nuances gave him some experience.

"He's also got a lot of speed, and he just came into his own. He's a gifted soccer player."

Molnar played defense for Sensibaugh as a sophomore. He started last year at center midfield, then a season-ending knee injury to Mavrick Tumblin forced Molnar to the front line.

"It was certainly different," Molnar said of playing at forward. "I saw it as a challenge."

Early on, scoring goals was a challenge for Molnar.

"He was just getting some bad bounces," Sensibaugh said. "He was kind of snake-bit."

Molnar also believed his defensive tendencies caused problems.

"After playing years and years of defense, I kept clearing rather than shooting my shots," Molnar said. "I was leaning back a lot, and I needed to get more over the ball. That helps keep the ball down, and then I wasn't hitting the crossbar as much."

Molnar found his offensive rhythm and scored half of his goals over the final quarter of the season.

"It was exciting for me," he said. "It really boosted my confidence. It meant a lot more, because the team came together, and we started to get some wins."

Even with his success last year, Molnar continues to refine his offensive skills.

"It's a lot about repetition," he said. "I just spent the summer hitting about 50 to 100 shots, constantly working on kneeling over the ball when I shoot."

"I know I can do it now, and I just want to continue to be able to help the team."

 

 

 

 

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