Work Zone Ahead: Men’s soccer looks to rebuild after a challenging 2020 season


Daniel Figueredo, Sports Writer

We hear it all the time – push through life’s challenges and roll with the punches. Sometimes it just isn’t that simple, and no one knows that better than the men’s varsity soccer team. Although they saw much success on the field, the team was left with many doubts as well as several holes in their roster. COVID-19 was largely the root of this struggle, interrupting the season causing many important players to opt out of the season or to switch to another school. However, there were some seedlings of hope as the spaces left by old players allowed for others to step up in their absence.
“We had players, experienced veteran players who decided not to play. We also had players ‘hungry’ to get back out there, they had been without soccer for almost a year and a half. The players needed the camaraderie, and they were looking forward to the season,” head coach Jeffrey Williams said.
With the absence of many key players including former captains Jeffrey Song and Clever Morillon, who graduated in 2021, varsity soccer has been given quite the obstacle entering this season.
“Each player has their own role within the team; you can’t recreate something from the past or find a perfect replacement for someone. People have to step up and assume different roles to keep the team up. So far it’s been working,” Williams said.
Veteran players having to take on new leadership roles will not be the only major change men’s soccer will see, as varsity will have several new faces this season. Many of the gaps within their roster have been filled by newcomers, whether they are promising JV players moving up, or first year players who impressed at tryouts. However, the new arrangement has not come without its share of problems on both sides of the scale, as many players have struggled to adjust to the unfamiliar situation they find themselves in.
“Varsity has received around nine newcomers this year, making the team roughly half and half between veteran and newcomer. The veterans have struggled with having to take leadership, while the newcomers have struggled with grasping the intensity of varsity,” Williams said.
Despite this setback, Williams still believes that the program is on an upward trajectory, and that it can maintain that course if the team sticks to the keys of success while putting faith and trust in one another.
“Before each game, I touch on three points: the most important being to trust one another. Trust your teammates, and trust the game plan, no matter what; that’s the only way we can succeed,” Williams said.
Varsity soccer’s main focus this season is to smooth over the rough edges and reach the postseason. The men’s soccer team seems well on track to reaching this goal as they sit at 9-2 overall after defeating Glenn on Sept. 20
“We’ve still got a lot of room for improvement, but we’ve had a strong last couple games. We definitely have a good shot at winning the conference,” sophomore Nolan Terlecki said.
Conference play for varsity soccer began on Sept. 13 against Mt. Tabor, and will continue through the rest of September and October. Scheduled conference games include showdowns against bitter rivals Reagan on Sept. 22 and Oct. 18; Reagan being an opponent the Titans soccer team will be eager to prove themselves against after suffering a 3-1 defeat at their hands in the Triad Cup Tournament. Overall, men’s varsity soccer looks to be on the road to recovery and fans should be excited about the team’s prospects this season.