Searching for offense after an early-season scoring drought, Republic soccer coach Kevin Hauck decided to shake things up. Hauck moved midfielder Marco Donjuan and defender Jackson McGuire to the front line to generate an offensive spark, and it paid off with a 3-0 win over Parkview in Springfield Thursday. Donjuan scored all three goals – his first career hat trick – and McGuire assisted on two of those goals. Jabali Wanekya also had an assist for the Tigers.
“We’ve had a great defense. Jackson’s been great back there for us, but he gives us really good scoring opportunities, and so does Marco,” said Hauck. “So we flipped the script a little bit and pushed Marco and Jackson up top hoping to get a little bit more offensively.”
Donjuan said being at forward allowed him to “find chances to score and get some shots on goal, and also get some crosses in to my teammates.”
The new position allowed him to score three goals in a varsity game for the first time. “It’s pretty incredible. I almost had it last year with two goals in Carl Junction, but … after the first two goals, I was really pushing for that last one to get my first hat trick.”
The new-look defense, with Markus Mitchell plugged into a key role, also held up.
“I thought that we could stay pretty solid defensively, still, as well. Our new defense, with Markus back there… makes a big difference on the back line. But he did a nice job and I thought they worked out some quirks early on and did a good job for us.”
The Tigers stay busy with three games over the next two days at a tournament in Rolla. They play Poplar Bluff at 3:30 pm Friday and Rolla at 6:30. Saturday at 10 am, Republic plays Capital City High School, the new Jefferson City high school that opened this fall, for the first time in any sport.