Team preview: Boys Varsity Soccer

Alison Isko, Staff Writer

Although Boys Varsity Soccer lost last year’s 10 seniors, Christopher Ha (12) is confident that this year’s team can fill that gap, he said.

“Even though I loved the seniors from last year, some of them caused some internal conflicts and chemistry problems, which hindered our performance during practices and games,” Ha said. “The guys this year are all wonderful people, and I’m confident in our returning players and newcomers.”

This year’s team is a combination of young, motivated players along with older, more experienced ones, Alex Gerstenhaber (11) said.

The combination of new and old players has made the team even better than last year’s, and caused the team to be especially strong at making the right passes, which shows a promising possession game, Jeffrey Chen (12) said.

During practice, the team has been working on building up other important skills through scrimmages and side games, Bodhi Lavine (9) said.

The players have also been doing conditioning and various drills focused on shooting, so that they can take full advantage of opportunities in games and have a smoother flow in games, Chen said.

The team is looking to improve its skills from last year in order to build off of last season’s record of seven wins, eight losses, and two draws, as they had a disappointing finish when they missed the playoffs, Jackson Feigin (11) said.

Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Gregg Quilty hopes the team will improve on last year’s record and advance at least as far as the semifinals this year, as last year’s loss was an incredibly narrow miss, he said. “We were just under .500 last year, which means we lost more than half our games, and just barely missed out on making the tournament, so the goals are to improve on last year’s record and go above .500.”

In order to avoid the same outcome this time, the team needs to both pace themselves and take practice seriously, as he’s noticed a pattern where the team’s performance gets worse when classes begin to get more challenging, Ha said. “Making sure that we aren’t going too hard to the point in which we will burn out is going to be key to our durability during the season,” he said.

The team could improve this year by having a counter-attacking style of play that is more intense, and working on the defense’s foot skills and passing, Chen said.

Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Neil Berniker is also confident that the team will do well this season. “The two weeks of preseason were very promising, we worked hard, we were motivated, and are hopeful to get back to the NYSAIS post season. We are excited and ready to play.”