The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Boys’ soccer to defend Mission League title

Darlene Bible
Midfielder Micah Rossen looks to make a pass in a game against Sierra Canyon on Jan. 23.

The boys’ soccer team is looking to improve this season with the new leadership of seniors and the rising talent of its freshmen class. Last season, the team won its first Mission League title since 1998 with a record of 12-0-1.

Defender and Team Captain JT Federman ’24 said last year’s success was partially due to the team’s strong bond.

“Our team bonded, and our team chemistry was really strong by the end of [last] year,” Federman said. “We knew how to play with each other, and that all worked together on the field. That’s why we had a lot of success.”

Federman said he is confident that Head Coach Michael Erush’s emphasis on defense will help the team.

“It’s probably the most important thing for [Erush] to have a strong defense,” Federman said. “He emphasizes how important defense is in the Mission League, and because of that, we work on defense a lot in practice. [During] our first practice, we [did] one-on-ones and two-on-twos, and that’s [Erush’s] signature first practice back. It’s important to be a good defensive team. It’s [going to] take a lot of work these next couple of weeks to get ready, but I’m confident.”

Erush said the senior group is committed to building upon the success from last season.

“This group of seniors is even more talented and more dedicated,” Erush said. “A lot of them have aspirations to play at the next level. This group of seniors is not satisfied with the success last year because they want to create their own legacy this season. I always tell my guys that we’re not trying to win it. We are going to win it. That’s what I’m trying to instill in them.”

Erush said the new freshmen on the team will have to adapt to the competitive high school soccer environment.

“There are going to be two freshmen,” Erush said. “For me, it’s how fast can they understand what high school soccer is and how fast and physical it is. It is about adapting to high school [soccer], because it’s different [from] club soccer.”

Striker Theo Ottoson ’25 said although he is proud of the team’s success, they should not be complacent.

“It’s always exciting going into the new season because whatever you did before, you have to put behind,” Ottoson said. “You can’t
go in thinking that you’re already going to win the [Mission] League just because you did it last year. We won Mission League, and obviously, we’d love to repeat it. But we’re [also] looking towards [winning the California Interscholastic Federation], especially with the new open division trial for boys’ soccer. It’d be great to qualify for that and have a deep run in that playoff.”

The team’s first game of the season is against Westlake High School at home Nov. 21.

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Nathan Wang, Assistant News Editor

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