The boys’ soccer team has jumped out of the gates firing on all cylinders with an undefeated start to their 2014-2015 campaign. The team currently holds a 7-0 overall record (2-0 league) and is ranked 13th in the state by MaxPreps.
The story of the year for Head Coach Lucas Bongarra’s squad has been the emergence of forward Henry Quilici ’15 as a dangerous scoring threat.
Quilici has netted 11 goals in just seven games and scored a season-high and career-high of five goals in the team’s 6-1 win over Glendale Jan. 2. Quilici’s impressive scoring rate earned him the title of SAAC Athlete of the Month.
“Each one of the goals that I score is more of a team accomplishment than an individual accomplishment,” Quilici said. “Most of my goals this season have really just been me tapping the ball into the back of the net after a long process of each and every team member putting their own individual effort into the play. Our team is just really playing well as a cohesive unit.”
Center defender Parker Converse ’15, who has been playing soccer with Quilici for more than 10 years, isn’t surprised with Quilici’s record-setting pace.
“[Quilici] has always had that natural killer instinct to score,” Converse said. “He’s always in the right position to put away goals. It’s nice to see that he is really reaching his potential in terms of goal scoring. He’s been working really hard to use his body and his physicality this year, and it’s working out well for him.”
Quilici credited the team’s dedication and attitude for the successful start of their season.
“I think this season is different from our past seasons because we have a more confident approach,” Quilici said. “I think most of the change in our squad has been mental. We have a much more professional work ethic, and that’s attributed to our two coaches because they helped us grasp a very serious attitude toward everything we do.”
The Wolverines have relied on a strong spine up the middle of the field consisting of established starters like Converse, Cole Fletcher ’15, Myles Pindus ’15 and Jadon Yariv ’16.
First-year goalie Nick Richmond ’16 has been a surprise in goal for the Wolverines this season.
Despite his lack of experience in the net, Richmond has posted three clean sheets and yielded more than one goal only once in seven games.
The only setbacks to the Wolverines’ season thus far have been injuries to starters Converse, who missed the 2-0 win over Alemany with an illness, Matthew Glick ’15, who is out for the season with a knee injury and Henry Prentice ’15. Both Quilici and Converse cited maintaining the team’s health as a high priority as the season progresses.
“Right now we are focusing on one game at a time,” Quilici said. “We’re definitely aiming to win our league and make it to CIF, and hopefully win CIF, too.”
“We obviously want to go undefeated,” Converse said. “Our main goal is to win league and go as far as we can in playoffs.”