Preseason expectations for boys varsity soccer

The+Varsity+Squad+standing+around+Coach+Patrick+Lowney+for+strategy+breakdown+%0A%0APhoto+taken+by+Justin+Kim

The Varsity Squad standing around Coach Patrick Lowney for strategy breakdown Photo taken by Justin Kim

Kinglsey Wang

The Varsity Squad standing around Coach Patrick Lowney for strategy breakdown  Photo taken by Justin Kim
The Varsity Squad standing around Coach Patrick Lowney for strategy breakdown
Photo taken by Justin Kim

For the first time in 17 years, the varsity boys soccer team qualified for the Central Coast Section championships last year, defying expectations of a dismal season after being moved up a division.

 

The player roster this year is diverse, including upperclassmen rookies, sophomores who proved themselves as freshman on JV, veterans from last year’s varsity squad. The team will need their new players in order to cover for the loss of several core MVHS class of 2015 alumni, including former team captain and center attacking mid Bardia Ohadi, right wing Chatty Adiga and center forward Michael Ligier. To help atone for the loss, head varsity coach Patrick Lowney has recruited sophomores Takeshi Ueno and Songjun Na as well as freshman Itay Rabinovich. The team also welcomes new rookies onto the roster. Lowney feels confident in the team despite its loss of seniors. “Those seniors were sophomores and freshmen at one point,” Lowney said, “and now it is up to the next group to step up.”Leading the charge will be captain Radwan Hamwi, who notably scored three goals in the last three minutes to secure the CCS qualification, and numerous returning seniors.

 

The strategy the team will be implementing is not clear-cut, as Lowney stated that each call for strategy depends on things such as, the opponent and the players.Last season, Lowney recounts having to change the team’s strategy every game because there would be four to five players injured. However, given their sizable roster of 25 players, Lowney believes that maintaining the style of play this season should not be as much of a problem.

 

The team just wants to knock the ball around and dominate possession of the ball. Achieving a playstyle based on dominating the ball may be challenging for the new team as it is one of their weaknesses. Freshman Itay Rabinovich says,

 “[the team] will probably need to work on keeping the ball in practice.” Junior Nikash Narula, three year veteran of the varsity squad,  agrees with Itay. “As a team, we need to work on keeping the ball more. We lose the ball a lot” he says.

 

To prepare for the possession style of play, the team looks to practice drills focused on  preserving the ball. This includes monkey-in-the-middle type drills, as well as scrimmages where one team tries to dominate the ball and keep it away from the other team. Another aspect of possession drills is the increased teamwork and coordination it brings to the team. Through these drills, players, veteran and rookie alike, can learn how to play with each other.

 

“We have players from the back to the front that are skillful, clever and imaginative,” Lowney said.“If we can get them to link well together, it’s going to be a good season.”