Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903

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Boys Varsity Soccer gets the ball rolling with early victories

Surya Gowda, Staff Writer

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The Boys Varsity Soccer team was undefeated in in-league games, with a record of 3-0-1, leading into its much-awaited games against Riverdale this week. As of Sept. 22, the Lions were tied with Riverdale at the top of league standings. The team has worked very hard to get where they are with the help of coaches Ray Barile and Neil Berniker.

“Our zonal defense is working pretty well, and our aggressive pressing from the middies and the forwards are causing a lot of turnovers from the opponents,” Allen Park (11) said.

The team’s formation and its defensive tactics, which Barile and Berniker work hard to instill in the players, support the players’ natural strong points, Chris Ha (10) said.

“I think that we have a solid defense mixed with a very aggressive offense,” Park said.

Last year, the team had excellent players, but the communication between the senior captains and the team was not strong, Phillipe Boulas (11) said.

“I think we definitely have more talent and versatility. There are a lot of guys who can play multiple positions,” Simon said, “We have already formed amazing team chemistry in less than a month even though we have a lot of new players. I think the new sophomores and juniors have really elevated our team with regards to chemistry and skill.”

From the beginning of the season, the players were taught to “pick each other up” instead of putting each other down, leading them to work well together, Antonio Anaya (11) said.

The team, as a whole, believes that their connection with each other is a major factor in their success thus far. With the help of the new sophomores and juniors, the players have strong chemistry and respect for each other, Boulas  said.

“Everyone is really buying into the system of what our team stands for and what our team wants to achieve,” Ha said.

According to Berniker, the “early success is contributed to a combination of factors,” from the “maturity and development of the younger players,” to the confidence and senior leadership, he said.

Captains, Noah Simon (12) and Michael Benacerraf (12), play a large role in the team’s success thus far. Other seniors, such as Julian Dubeck (12) and Arjun Khorana (12), have been instrumental so far in the season, Berniker said.

All of the players are vocal with their opinions, and the leadership is not only coming from the seniors, but also the underclassmen, Melchior Lee (11) said.

They do a great job of communicating in all three phases of defense, midfield, and attack, said Simon.

“We are playing with confidence and improved skill. It’s a pleasure to watch the team play, and I hope we can continue with success. We are really proud of the early season, and we hope it continues with the same work ethic,” Berniker said.

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Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903
Boys Varsity Soccer gets the ball rolling with early victories