Squad strives for deep run in playoffs

Squad strives for deep run in playoffs

Midfielder Connor Colao ’21 dribbles the ball in a 6-2 win at home against league opponent Bishop Alemany High School on Jan. 10. The squad’s next game is at home against league opponent Chaminade College Preparatory High School today. Credit: Eugean Choi/Chronicle

Although the boys’ soccer team started off the season strong with wins in its first three matches, the squad has struggled recently, losing three of its eight league matches and drawing one.

The team competed in the North Texas Elite Showcase Tournament on Jan. 2, winning its first match against Abilene High School 2-1. After the win, the boys lost their next two matches to Grand Prairie High School and Central Catholic High School.

Recent league game

In an important match against league rival Crespi Carmelite High School on Jan. 22, the teams held each other scoreless, and the Wolverines walked away with a 0-0 tie. In the squad’s first matchup with the Celts on Dec. 13, the team lost 2-0. Defender Liam Weetman ’21 said that the team wanted to avenge its first loss in this match.

“We came out much more fired up than usual,” Weetman said. “We were also missing key players like [midfielder Pablo Greenlee ’20] and [forward Milo Kiddugavu ’22], so we knew we had to come out strong to beat our opponent. Being a defender, I was happy with the back line’s performance against Crespi. I was disappointed in the offense, though, as we created many opportunities to score, but couldn’t find the back of the net. This was upsetting because the whole team played very well.”

Preparing for playoffs

With five more scheduled league matches in the regular season, the players are determined to qualify for the playoffs, Greenlee said.

“We are hoping to win out the rest of the league games and make it to CIF,” Greenlee said.

“We have a great fighting mentality and I have high hopes for the team’s success. We want to make a good run in playoffs, since in previous years, we stopped short due to unfortunate losses. Our defense is sound. It has definitely improved from earlier in the season, but we just lacked the right moments up top.”

Practicing hard

Midfielder Gabe Palacios ’20 said that, with its everyday practices, the squad has been training hard to achieve its goal of making it to CIF Playoffs.

“In practice, we go over game-like situations and prepare our games,” Palacios said. “We work on tactical stuff, like how we are going to press the other team. Additionally, we work on how we can attack certain vulnerabilities of our opponents.”

Teamwork and future goals

Program head Kris Ward said that at practice and in matches, the squad’s camaraderie is evident.

“The teamwork is tremendous,” Ward said. “The boys support and push each other day in and day out. There is a great team spirit throughout the entire group.”

With the end of the season approaching, Weetman said that he is looking to the future and focusing on how he can lead the team.

“My goals this year are to step up more and become a better leader, as next year me and my teammates, who will become seniors, will be the oldest on the team,” Weetman said. “So, we need to be able to lead the other players.”

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