The Varsity Men’s Soccer team headed into homecoming week with a definite mission to avenge and maintain. With two totally opposite talent levels, the mustangs were given the opportunity to split the series with the number one team in the WCAC and continue their quest towards a more a favorable place in the playoffs with a win versus St. Johns. Led by a strong group of seniors, the mustangs are stronger than what paper may reveal. Senior starter, Maxwell Allegro says, ” We have a lot of potential. The second half will be stronger than the first.” When asked how he and the team could turn there 5-5-4 in conference record around he said, “We need to approach each game with the same intensity.” This intensity would definitely be required against a Dematha squad that had only one in conference blemish on their record.
Heading into the match against Dematha, Senior Jeff Meekins said, “If we do the same thing as last time and keep up what we are doing, we should have no problem pulling out a W.” Unfortunately, the men fell short to the Stags by a score 4-0. The teams resilient attitude allowed them to shake off this minor road bump in order to enjoy what would be the last spirit week for many of them.
Is there a lack of focus due to the irregular week and outrageous clothing? Coach Robert Nolte says, “The guys have a good sense of when to turn it on and off. The eleven seniors on the team help to keep us focused and grounded.” He really believes that his team feeds off spirit week and the additional amount of fans will give the team a positive boost heading straght from the pep rally to their homecoming game against St. Johns. This boost could not come at a better time. “We are peaking at the right time”, says Coach Nolte, and this is definitely evident by a much improved second half of the season. Due to the competitiveness of the WCAC, ties at times feel like wins especially to a team that has dealt with a number of injuries to key players. To many people an injury to a starter would prove to be problematic. Not for these Mustangs, it was merely an opportunity to experiment and find success in different positions.
As a Forward for much of his high school career, the sound of playing midfield would definitely be somewhat foreign to Allegro. However, the loss of senior Greg Carbott early in the season left a void in the midfield that Allegro filled valiantly. When asked about his position change he says, “Im just being what the team needs me to be.” This is a team-wide attitude that Coach Nolte attributes to the strong, senior leadership. He says, “This is an amazing group of young men. They get along great and have just made a great impression this year.” As the team graduates eleven players, who will step up and replace these guys? Newly appointed Mens’ J.V. soccer coach Katelynn Chambers believes that her group of guys are ready to answer the call of duty.
She says,”That’s always the goal to work up to varsity.” When asked about her transition from the women’s side to the men’s, she expressed that she really was not looking for anything in particular, however, when Coach Nolte offered her the position, she felt that it was an opportunity of which she should take advantage. So far she says,”It has been great. There is a very responsive coach to athlete relationship and I have to give them credit…I know it was difficult.”
Freshman Andrew Smith says, “We responded well…I have never had a female coach, but she is doing a really good job. Her techniques are different from what I am used to.” She accepts nothing but maximum effort from her players and it is evident out on the field that most of the team’s victories are a result of strictly outworking their opponent.
Coach Nolte says,”J.V. has had a good season. Coach Chambers has done well with focusing on the basics.” This is high praise from the coach that will inherit many of the players on her roster next year.
Both of these teams had a responsibility on the Friday of homecoming week “Beat St. Johns!” With the football team coming off of an emotional victory over the cadets a week before, now was the time for the soccer team to pull out a win against the Cadets just as they did earlier in the season. As both the the boys teams headed out to the field fresh out of the pep rally, there was an added amount of energy as many students stuck around in the rain to support the Mustangs. People throughout the community bundled up and kept up the school spirit. The added energy propelled the team to an early 1-0 lead after a great goal from Senior Greg Carbott. A clutch cross much later in the game from senior Ryan Leslie set up Carbott for what would be his second, and the teams winning goal. The mustang defense held strong and the Cadets scored only one goal. Heading into the playoffs, the Mustangs are in great position to compete for the WCAC crown. Confident that they can play with pretty much any team in the league, the boys have their eyes on the prize.