On Wednesday, Sept. 4, the boys varsity soccer team began their season with a scrimmage against Hall High School. Despite Hall being a tremendously talented team, the Wyverns were able to come away with a 1-1 draw.
“Our midfield dominated, and our defense didn’t give them any space,” Head Coach Hikmet Aslan said. Coach Aslan mentioned how he was proud of his team’s resilience as immediately after the opposition scored, senior midfielder Niko Rodriguez scored a volley goal off a ball from senior midfielder Co-captain Nick Traver.
The Wyverns then traveled to Wethersfield High School for the 9/11 Memorial Soccer Jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 7. The day consisted of three 30-minute games against Staples, Tolland, and Wethersfield high schools. KO first faced off against Staples High School where the game ended in a 0-0 draw. Coach Aslan experimented with multiple different lineups and put an emphasis on giving everyone an opportunity to play. “We have 12 seniors and development is important for the future,” Coach Aslan said.
The boys soccer team then dominated in a 1-0 win over Tolland High School. “We controlled the entirety of the game and kept the ball in our attacking third,” senior defender captain Kyler Dzielak said. The sole goal of the game came from a header by sophomore midfielder Aidan Dillow off of a cross from junior Jaden Weinstein. The third and final game was a must win for the Wyverns as it would solidify their first place finish in the jamboree for the second year in a row. Junior striker Carter Meshanic scored the only goal in the Wethersfield match and by doing so he gave all the bragging rights to KO.
The boys soccer team then traveled to Westminster School on Saturday, Sept. 14, where they weren’t able to come up with a victory, losing 3-1. The Wyverns got off to a slow start as they found themselves behind 3-0 at halftime. The team responded with a tough and physical brand of soccer in the second half and was able to create numerous chances and keep the ball in their attacking third. Senior striker Brandon Stake scored the lone goal in this game.
All of these scrimmages gave Coach Aslan a good gauge on what to expect for the rest of the season. “I am very optimistic about this season,” Coach Aslan said. “This is the year that we can make the playoffs. This is our chance.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, the boys soccer team traveled to Canterbury where they came out with the 1-0 win. C. Meshanic scored a goal in the final minute of regulation to win the game in spectacular fashion for the Wyverns.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Wyverns were able to defeat Northwood School 2-1. KO had no business in this game. Northwood School is extremely talented with a huge recruitment program, as only three players are from this country. Sophomore striker Brio Aslan was able to score the first goal of the game, as he dribbled past the goalie, off a great pass from C. Meshanic. Then, Wolff scored, but on the wrong goal. It was alright though, as junior midfielder Colin Ruiz hit an absolute screamer, as he went upper 90 off a volley from outside the 18 yard box. All in all, the Wyverns played tremendous team defense and capitalized on their chances.
With the majority of the team being seniors you expect the team’s chemistry to be great, but as half the team will graduate this spring, Coach Aslan has added and assigned the seniors the additional responsibility of mentoring the underclassmen. Senior defender Co-captain Jack Risley has relished this role. “I want to help the underclassmen assimilate to KO and the high school level just as the seniors did for me when I was an underclassman,” Risley said.
The boys soccer team have accomplished so much on the practice field and on the playing field so far this season. More importantly, though, is what they’ve done that has no relation to soccer: sporting the fresh buzz cuts for their teammate but, more importantly, their friend.