By John Kurkjian ‘20
The hot, long days and endless practices on Ott Field paid off last season when the 2018-2019 Chaminade varsity soccer team captured its fourth-straight CHSAA State Championship. Looking back on last season, the 2019-2020 varsity soccer team is setting its sights on nothing less than a reclamation of their success from last year. Although the team lost many dynamic leaders from the Class of 2019, it found no shortage of talent from the Class of 2021.
This year’s Flyers, under the coaching of Mr. Michael Gallagher, started their season with a 1-0-1 record with a 1-1 tie against St. John the Baptist and a 5-0 victory over Holy Trinity. Following a disappointing yet eye-opening tie against St. John’s, the team knew it had to focus in order to show why it is capable of continuing the glory from the past four varsity soccer seasons. The game started slowly with a few lapses on defense and missed opportunities on offense, but about halfway into the first half, the team began to get in the zone. The Flyers put on an offensive clinic with goals scored by Ronan MacGilvray ‘21 and Jason Leyden ‘20. Goalkeeper Kevin Lynch ‘20 played an outstanding game, acting as the Flyers’ brick wall, stopping the Titans from scoring.
“I was elated to be named one of the captains this year, but I know that it is a demanding responsibility. I now have some big shoes to fill. We have been state champions for the last four years, so the pressure is on for us to deliver once again this year,” said Justin Caccavo ‘20. The team has upcoming games against powerhouse programs in Massapequa, Delbarton, and St. Peter’s Preparatory; nevertheless, the team remains confident.
While assessing his confidence in the team’s roster and its ability to navigate this tough schedule, Caccavo said, “We have a huge target on our backs in the league, but I know that this team can handle the heat. We are very skilled technically, and although we lost a lot of strong members from the Class of 2019, we gained many strong junior players this year. The whole team knows what we need to do in order to earn the title of ‘state champions’ once again, and we are willing to put in the work at every practice to reach our goals.”
The win against Holy Trinity this past week gave the Flyers a big confidence boost heading into the rest of their league play. The five goals netted by the Flyers were scored by five different players. Michael Lynch ‘20 is also excited with the team’s on-field ability but is more impressed with how quickly and efficiently the team has gelled into one, coherent unit.
“Everybody came into preseason with the idea of bringing home one more state championship, and we’ve shown, so far, that as long as we keep moving forward together as a team, our goal is within reach,” Lynch said. The team is determined to continue their pursuit of a dominant fifth-straight CHSAA State Championship this season.
The squad continues its season with games against Long Island rival Kellenberg on September 24th.