Boys’ Soccer off to rough start


Max Rolnick ’16 lies on the ground after crashing into a player in the Wolverines’ 1-1 tie against Notre Dame. Credit: Jake Liker/ Chronicle

Connor Reese

Following a defeat in their first league game against Crespi, the boy’s soccer team brought their league record to 0-1-1 with a tie against Notre Dame against Jan. 8.

The game was scheduled as the league home-opener, but was moved away from Ted Slavin Field because the lights for the field were not able to properly illuminate the field.

“I would say [the change to Crespi affected us] the slightest bit,” Goalkeeper Michael Gaven ’18 said. “Even with the situation, we went out and fought harder and with more intensity than I’ve ever seen the team before.”

Gaven thought the team was playing well, but would be able to have more positive results if the team shot more.

“We have to shoot a lot more and if we [do], we’ll get a lot more on target,” Gaven said.

Head of Program and Varsity Head Coach Lucas Bongarra thought the change of location only affected the team’s play slightly.

“We started with such a big change and suddenly you’re playing at a different game with different weather conditions,” Bongarra said, “I honestly don’t think that was why we didn’t win the game. I don’t like to put excuses. The boys played really well and really hard.”

Bongarra was proud of how the team played in their first league game despite the tough conditions and circumstances.

“We need to finish because my analysis of the game was that we controlled the game in the first half and defensively we controlled it so much until we got the red card,” Bongarra said. “Down to 10 men we still managed to keep the game competitive and we came back and tied the game. We ran out of legs. We told the boys that were very proud of the way they played.”

The biggest strength of the team heading into the second game was how compact and organized the team played and how aggressive they were, according to Bongarra.

Heading into the second half of a hard-fought game against Notre Dame, Bongarra felt a tactical change was unnecessary.

“In the big scheme of things we are trying to maintain the same style of play,” Bongarra said. “Tactically, the formation hasn’t changed. We [are] still playing [a] 4-2-3-1. What is happening is that we need to change as a team and protect some players that do not have enough experience. Make new partnerships like we had last year. We need to have the chemistry kick in. We are close, and we see the team very motivated and unified. It’s a good start.”

Junior center-back Ethan Blaser ’17 is optimistic about the team’s chances to be successful this season.

“We got a great group of guys [and] we have a good mixture of youth and experience,” Blaser said.