Boys soccer dribbles to winning season, says goodbye to seniors

Sports

The boys varsity soccer team has achieved a 7-6-3 record this season, with a very experienced roster including 12 seniors. The Wyverns have had their share of tough matchups this season, and still were able to come through with many impressive wins and finish out the season strong.

On their Hewett Day matchup and Friday Night Lights game against Marianapolis Prep on Friday Oct. 18, the boys secured a 3-0 win. Sophomore forward Brio Aslan scored the first goal of the game in the first half to kickstart the Wyverns offense. In the second half of the game, senior forward Brandon Stake scored off of a penalty kick, and senior midfielder Co-captain Jackson Wolff hit a screamer from 25 yards out to put the Wyverns ahead 3-0. KO’s defense was also impressive in this match with senior goalie Tim Cotter providing a shutout.

Something that has contributed to the team’s success this season is their chemistry and communication. All of the seniors have been together for almost four years and know how each other play. “The most important factors to our success are definitely having many seniors, friendship, and bonding,” said Head Coach Hikmet Aslan.

Following their game under the lights, the boys soccer team faced Choate Rosemary Hall on Wednesday Oct. 23 at home again, but were not able to prevail as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Wyverns unfortunately fell to their next two opponents, Avon Old Farms and Hopkins. In the game against a tough AOF team, they lost 4-1, with their only goal being a penalty scored by Wolff. Against the Hilltoppers, the boys lost 4-2 with goals from Stake and junior midfielder Colin Ruiz off of a free kick.

This fall, the boys have struggled a bit coming out of the gate in games. “A challenge we have faced this year is how we start out matches,” said senior Co-captain defender Kyler Dzielak. “We often times have slow starts to games, which can put us behind early.”

However, the team didn’t let the two-game losing streak phase them at all, bouncing back with a huge 5-0 win over St. Luke’s at home. There was scoring all across the board in one of the Wyvern’s best games of the year. Junior forward Carter Meshanic notched two goals, junior defender Chris Sienko scored a goal, senior midfielder Shane Dawson had one as well, and Wolff scored off of a penalty to cap off the scoring effort. Wolff shared his thoughts about the Wyverns’ second half of the season thus far. “Although we’ve had some tough days, we’ve played pretty well the past four games,” Wolff said. “Our win against St. Luke’s was big because everyone on the team made major contributions.”

During practice there is a large emphasis on conditioning, but as game day approaches, they begin to focus on details and get ready to play their next opponent. “Practice involves a lot of running to stay in shape, but the day before a game we focus much more on team tactics and strategy,” said Wolff. The boys also focus on skills they lacked in the past game like crossing or keeping the ball in their possession.

In their next game on Saturday Nov. 2, the team tied Wilbraham and Monson 1-1. They lost 1-0 on their Senior Day to Williston Northampton on Wednesday Nov. 6. In KO’s last game of the season on Saturday Oct. 11, they suffered a loss to Trinity-Pawling 3-2.

Coach Aslan was happy with the season but wished they could have squeezed out wins in close end-of-season losses. “My expectations were to win at least two more games towards the end,” Coach Aslan said. “We should have had more wins, but I am happy that we had a winning record this year.”

This year the boys varsity soccer team will say goodbye to their 12 seniors, and come into next season with a whole different look and a younger squad.