EBy: Brendan Lane ’20
Even after losing all but one starter from last year’s championship-caliber team, Chaminade’s youthful varsity soccer team has risen to the challenge of continuing its winning tradition. Following a very successful regular season, the team’s future looks bright as it heads into the playoffs – which will kick off tomorrow at Mitchel Field against Holy Trinity – as the number-one seed.
The team’s season-long odyssey started with a tough 7-2 loss to Amityville. In the face of this adversity, the Flyers kept faith in their abilities and bounced back with a confidence-building, four-game win streak. During this stretch, the consistency of the defense and goalkeepers held opposing teams to just one goal.
The Flyers continued to show improvement over the course of the rest of the season, winning the next nine out of their next 13 games. The offense helped propel this period of triumph, with the largest margin of victory being seven goals in a game against Holy Trinity.
Chaminade soccer’s biggest rival (and the number-two seed in the playoffs), St. Anthony’s, proved to be its most competitive matchup, as both of the games played between the Flyers and Friars ended in a draw. Neither team scored in the first game, leading to a highly anticipated rematch played last Wednesday. That exciting contest looked promising for the Flyers but ultimately ended in a 1-1 tie after a Friars goal was scored from near midfield in the final minutes of the contest.
With each passing game, the young Flyers have looked more experienced and their future more promising. While doubts may have arisen after the first game, the coaching staff always had faith that the Flyers would wind up on top.
“The team’s expectations are being realized with what we can do with such a young team,” assistant coach Alvero Phan said earlier in the season.
Under the leadership of seniors like captain John Murphy ’18, the Flyers have learned the hard work and skill needed to win in the NSCHSAA.
“We made some tough mistakes in the beginning, but the mistakes we make now are not going to be made later on,” said Murphy. “The team has been able to adjust to varsity-level sports, and we can now see that we’ll do great things.”
On the cusp of the playoffs, the team is more confident in their abilities than ever. Although not everyone saw their success coming, the Flyers have been able to rally together to overcome difficulties and have proven themselves worthy of the shoes they had to fill entering this season.
“I do believe that we’ll be able to compete for a state championship; there’s no doubt in my mind,” said assistant coach Mr. Gabriel Ramos ’04.