Seldom does one hear a coach plead for his team to be selfish.

The beautiful game, as it’s commonly referred to, is supposedly founded on self-sacrificing standards that value passing and altruistic play.

Yet, as the Beaverton boys’ soccer team circled around Ryan Youngblood on Monday after tying Lakeridge 0-0 with just five shots on goal, that’s exactly what the head coach asked of his team.

Youngblood told the Beavers they have the green light to let fly with shot upon shot in the final third of the field. He encouraged them to attack, not take a backseat to their teammates.

“It’s having that killer instinct up top,” said senior Nico Maier. “It’s recognition of ‘I have space, I have the opportunity, and I just need to pull the trigger.’ It’s something we need to work on, and going into Metro, I think we can fix it.”by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton junior Able Guzman blasts a shot over Lakeridges defense in the first half of the Beavers tie.

“We’re too nice,” said Able Guzman. “We pass the ball around the 18 (yard-line) a lot, and we need to shoot more. We need to score goals to make the game, win the game. When we’re in the game, we don’t really think about it.”

Maier, Guzman, Ian Coleman and the rest of the Beaver scorers are the primary distributors on their respective club teams, not go-to scorer Alpha dogs. They’re unselfish passers by nature, so when it comes to booting balls toward the cotton, Beaverton’s best players are somewhat hesitant. That doesn’t mean the Beavers are gun shy, but they’re adjusting their offensive mentality. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior midfielder Seth Temple goes after a ball near the net in the second half of the Beavers tie with Lakeridge.

“One of us has to step up,” said Coleman. “I think collectively as a group we can all step up and get some goals in there. We don’t need a main scorer. We’ll be more dangerous if we have versatile players and more people who score.”

Both Beaverton and Lakeridge had opportunities to get on the board early in the first half. The Beavers tallied four shots on goal and two corner kicks, a testament to their offensive creativity and willingness to push the ball upfield.

Coleman and Guzman clipped shots from the left side of the pitch in the game’s first five minutes that barely sailed high over the crossbar. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior Nico Maier dribbles around a Lakeridge defender on the Beavers side of the pitch.

With 5:31 left in the first half, Coleman flicked a seeing-eye pass to a going Guzman only to have his shot blocked by the Pacer goalie. Both corner kicks went begging, yet the Beavers went into halftime feeling like they’d played 40 minutes of quality soccer.

Seth Temple, Marcus Dalton and Chris Vincent produced quality looks in the midfield with fancy dribbling and effective passing.

“They’re taking steps forward, and that’s what you want in the preseason,” said Youngblood. “You’re trying to figure out where to improve on, and we definitely need to work on attacking in the final third (of the field). We have to find ways through the training environment to get the shots. We have to get our playmakers to recognize when to go.”by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior forward Ian Coleman chips a ball toward the Lakeridge net in the first half of the Beavers 0-0 tie on Monday.

Maier said Beaverton is starting to build some things up toward the center, and players are starting to switch the ball from one side of the field to the other with more success.

“We’re looking for that final ball,” said Maier. “We’re looking for that pass in behind and overlooking the immediate option. I think in the center-mids we have a lot of talent. Outside, we have a lot of talent. Moving the ball isn’t really our problem. Our problem is getting those points on the board.”

Beaverton’s defense held its shape and blanked Lakeridge after making a few costly mistakes in the Beavers’ 2-0 loss to Lake Oswego. Goalie Dyllon Carlson made two monumental saves in the second half, including one sprawling, forcible dive to his right that stifled a potential go-ahead cross by Lakeridge.

“When you have good keepers in the back of the net, it makes you feel a little bit more confident,” said Youngblood. “He’s definitely holding it down back there.”

Beaverton’s been grooming this squad precisely for this season, and with 11 seniors on the team, the bar has been lifted. There’s an eager anticipation between the Beavers.

“I know we have a lot of talent,” said Coleman. “

And, our talent is more technical. I think as long as we keep the ball on the ground, we can dominate. Hopefully, we can win Metro and maybe win state. That’s what we’re pressing for. It’s our last year, and we want to win.”

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