Boys’ Soccer In a Groove

Bartosz Janczuk, Sports Editor

The boys’ soccer team got off to a decent start this year, beginning 4-3-1, but has really since cruised; the boys have won all of their past 4 games and consequently improved to 8-3-1 on the year.

They took on Burnsville at home, traveled to Minneapolis, and faced off against Osseo again at home before finally playing their most recent game away at Eastview; during this streak of four wins in five days, the boys have consistently won by multiple goals.

While the team has been hot lately, their 4-3-1 record prior to this winning streak wasn’t up to expectations for the players. In fact, the boys knew quite early that they weren’t playing up to their potential. “When we lost our first game, that was definitely an eye-opener for us,” said senior Tom Olson. “We weren’t super prepared for that one, mentally, and just took a lot of things for granted.” Following that, the boys admittedly buckled down and won their next four.

However, this led to a big-time slump; the boys lost a game, tied their next, and then hit their season’s low point when they got shutout 2-0 by Lakeville South, a team that has accumulated just one other victory in the past two seasons.

Right then, the squad knew that it needed to patch things up, and quickly. “We had a sort of midseason slump, a losing/tying streak,” told me junior captain Chad Miller. “But we’ve bounced back from that with all of our effort; we’ve really committed to putting in 100% in every game since then.”

Aside from that, dissatisfaction with their season’s early performance and renewed motivation are also part of the reason why the guys are doing so well now. As Olson reflected, “We were down a bit, and we got some words of encouragement from our coach, Jose Martinez. He talked about having good character, stepping up for the team, and so on.” Olson indicated that this encouragement played a big role in the team’s recent improvement.

Of course, as is the case with every successful team, there have been leaders and key contributors for the boys thus far. First of all, the team’s goalies – Josh Edelstein and Dalton Von Kaenal – have played very well up to this point. “Both of our goalies have done a really good job whenever they’ve played,” said Olson, “and they’ve made some really good saves to keep us in some games.” Olson and Miller also mentioned defender Ben Edinger; forward players Jorge Silva and Abdi Ali; and team Captains Luke Abbott and CJ Williams as players that have been important in various respects so far.

The boys, however, are not completely satisfied with their performance. While they knew that this season would be tough, having lost a fair amount of seniors this offseason, Olson told me that, “We thought we’d be a little better than 8-3-1. We definitely dropped a couple games we shouldn’t have.”

With that being said, the boys look to maintain this streak and avenge their early struggles with a strong finish to the season. “I think we’re the best team in our section,” said Miller, “so my expectations for the rest of the season are that we win sections and move on to state.” Hopefully, his expectations are fully realistic. In the meantime, make sure you get out and support the boys in their last few games as the regular season slowly winds down to its end.