Javon Darrien ’19
Despite going through a season of ups and downs, Varsity Soccer finds itself in excellent form as they head into the postseason.
The team’s record stands at 9-6-2, but in the last few weeks they went 6-2, including a 7-0 victory against Benedictine and, most recently, a 5-2 loss against nationally ranked St.Christopher’s.
Len Mills, the team’s head coach, had strong words for his core and praised the form of a few players.
“The team as a whole has improved; everyone has done a nice job,” Mills said. “Max Dupont ‘19 has done a great job, he’s solidified his place as a starter, as well as Alvaro Garcia Valdecasas ‘21, who has solidified his place as a starter at the central midfielder position.”
Despite the loss against St. Chris, the players still have strong confidence in themselves. Coach Mills said they believe in one another, and this has made the team a tighter unit.
“We have had a year-long theme of believing one another. It doesn’t matter who beat who; believe one another and play together,” Mills said.
The Tigers find themselves hosting Trinity Episcopal School on Friday, November 2nd in the first round of the state tournament, and while they’ve already beaten them 3-0 during the regular season, Mills pushed his players not to lose focus.
“It’s hard to beat the same team twice in a season. We can’t be going into this game thinking ahead to Monday. There’s no guarantee.”
If the team beats TES, it will play Collegiate in the quarterfinal on Monday, November 5th. They previously lost to the Cougars this season 1-0. The entire playoff runs through November 9th, which Coach Mills described as a “grueling” week of four games.
Goalkeeper Reed Taws said the team was most focused on taking out Collegiate, Episcopal High School, and Cape Henry Collegiate. The team tied with EHS earlier this year after the Maroon scored on a penalty kick in the 93rd minute after a controversial foul call on Walker Antonio ‘19. Many students were in attendance for the game, and the crowd was in shock after the call. The team lost to CHC 3-0, which has upped the ante on the team’s rivalry with Cape Henry, as the Tigers also lost to them in the state playoffs last season. The team has faced adversity all season, but continues to pull through and support each other.
Taws saws it’s not “always sunshine and rainbows, but it’s a supportive environment.”
Despite the ups and downs they have went through during the season, the team find itself in a position to finish off the season successfully. Both the coaching staff and the players are optimistic about what lies ahead. Left back Chip Leverette spoke on what’s next for the team.
“We are feeling very good about ourselves and our future.”