With a packed 17-game schedule, the Kingswood Oxford boys varsity soccer team looks to take full advantage of their first normal season since the pandemic. Off to a strong start so far, the team looks to continue their undefeated season.
This season, the team has several goals that they want to accomplish before their time on the field comes to a close. “We definitely want to be a playoff team,” senior midfielder Co-captain Aaron Rotter said. “We have come close in past years, but this year feels different based on the energy level and serious mentality at both practice and games.”
Last fall, teams at KO played only two or three games throughout their entire season, so while boys varsity soccer was still practicing, the team wasn’t necessarily able to show off their skills in game settings as often as they would have liked. However, with a new year comes new opportunities, and the team’s greatest opportunity this year is their ability to play a full season. Though exciting, the transition from playing only three games to 17 in a matter of months has not been without its challenges. “The boys are excited to be able to play a full season again, but getting back into two games a week has been hard for us, but we as a team have stepped up to this challenge and responded well.” said Head Coach Hikmet Aslan.
The Wyverns’ first few games, however, have shown that the team has had few issues thus far in transitioning into having games up to twice a week. The boys are undefeated, outscoring their first three opponents 16-4. “Sophomore striker Sam Cote and senior midfielder Sean Gilland opened their scoring accounts for KO,” Rotter said, “and senior Aidan Dillow and senior James Beerbower have been terrific at the back, while senior Brio Aslan can’t stop scoring goals.”
A game that stands out above the rest was the team’s most recent one against a strong Cheshire Academy. KO was able to string together solid passes and make important plays on the offensive end, which resulted in a decisive 6-1 victory for the Wyverns. The players shared the spotlight with four different goal scorers. “I was proud of the way the boys played in the Cheshire Academy game as they were unselfish and worked to create opportunities for other players and not just themselves.” said Coach Aslan.
Team chemistry is of the utmost importance to the players, as they believe that the better the chemistry, the better they play. “I’m always trying to lead by example because I won’t ask something of a teammate that I am not doing myself,” Rotter said. “My role this year has been made really easy by the consistent effort that my teammates are putting in at practice, as well as the great group of seniors that help Brio and I set the tone.” Working together is how the team will continue to find success this year.
As the season progresses, the team will face more and more skilled opponents, but they are more than capable of stepping up to the challenge. “We treat every game the same no matter the opponent, which is what I believe will allow us to be successful,” Rotter said. The boys will undoubtedly continue to work hard and keep their eyes set on the ultimate goal of making it to the postseason.