What accounts for the team’s second-half improvement?
We had a tough time with Bongarra at the beginning because the atmosphere for this whole school soccer thing has been very relaxed, and there wasn’t much discipline and it was the most fun. It just was not how Harvard-Westlake wanted to represent itself, undisciplined. At the beginning of this year, we got a new coach and completely different mentality with it.
What has been your favorite moment during your Harvard-Westlake career?
I’d say probably the game versus Notre Dame, when we won with my free kick. That will be my best memory. I got fouled at the top of the box, and our team just needed it. That week, we had three home games, and before that we didn’t really know what our season would be like. It really could have gone either way. I think we just kind of woke up, and it was a turning point.
What does your recruiting process look like?
Basically, the schools that I wanted to go are like the biggest Division I schools, and I only really got Division III interest. I was seriously talking to some of those coaches, but I kind of decided my top choice was Duke. It wasn’t that realistic because they took one look at me and were like, “you’re not 6-foot-2 and you don’t run like a 4.5 40 [yard dash].” For a lot of the bigger schools, they couldn’t get past the physical side because I guess they like to see potential and then make you develop. I’m kind of the opposite way, where maybe I don’t have that much potential athletically, but I think technically I’m better. At this point, I’m considering taking a gap year and I might do some soccer things, like this Richmond program.If I were to do something like that, I think that it could definitely increase the odds for recruitment and I might be going to more camps this summer.
Can you preview your first round matchup with Dana Hills?
Dana Hills got second in their league. We should beat them, honestly. It’s really about looking ahead, but if we beat them, then we play a top three team in the state, Santa Barbara. We’re actually posed for a nice playoff run, unlike last year. Last year, we didn’t have very much momentum going into the last game. I think this year is just different. We’ve really started to form and I think everyone’s going to be ready for this and just be able to put it together. We’ll beat Dana Hills, I would expect, and then it would be the next game we’d really got to get up for. I think we have a lot of momentum right now, and we’ve been peaking during the past three games and just the end of league is when we started playing our best soccer. I think it’s good.