by Nicholas Smith
The Christian Brothers Varsity Mens Soccer team, as they begin their foray into Capital Athletic League play for the 2017-2018 season, look to battle back after their challenging and combative preseason. Carrying a record of four wins and seven losses at the moment, the boys of the pitch have faced trial after trial, and though they have already exceeded the team composition and execution of previous years, their overall performance still lacks. The team is underwhelmed with their current state of play, but they are working towards a glorious comeback.
The Men’s Varsity team’s season began with a success right out of the gate, as our boys effortlessly put four goals past Del Campo, running away with a 4-1 victory in their first match of the preseason in late November. Though they subsequently suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Pleasant Grove with a score of 2-1, the team kept their composition and returned to the pitch was a sense of fury and drive. Coach Jacob Hunley ’96 led the boys to two consecutive wins, besting both Capital Christian and Rio Linda with scores of 6-2 and 2-1 , respectively.
With a record of 3-1, the Men’s squad was looking up, their seasonal goals lying just ahead of their grasp. Unfortunately, the team was dealt a losing hand within the next few weeks. With multiple injuries within a short time frame, including energetic defender Zachary Martin ’19, furious striker Chase Gallup ’19, and balanced midfielder Dominic Poletti ’19, and an increasingly difficult gauntlet of opponents, the boys of the pitch easily slipped into a rut. The team suffered losses in their next five matches, including key battles against schools Jesuit and McClatchy(with scores of 2-0 in both). An even greater loss occurred in the match against Galt, in which our Falcons fell by a score of 8-1.
Head coach Jacob Hunley spoke to us about the current state of the team, which he stated has “started off slow, but they have had a lot of injuries recently and once that’s out of the way I think they could do really well”. He went on to state that the boys are “a young team that has a good potential to win”.
With a thorough amount of therapy for injured players and steely coaching for those still able to play, the boys of the pitch found their groove once again. After their devastating loss to Galt, the Falcons came back with a sense of fury to battle against the El Camino Eagles in their first league match. The Eagles put two strikes in the net of the Falcons, but all was not lost. Senior star Alex Silva ’18 took it upon himself to save the team’s dire situation, and with smooth footwork and eye for opportunity, Silva easily struck three goals behind the El Camino goalkeeper. Silva’s hat trick, which he labeled as “a huge adrenaline rush that felt great”, saved the Falcon match and riled up the boys.
Two days later, the Falcons headed to their home pitch of Sac City College to battle the Casa Roble Rams and get their second post-rut victory. Though the boys fell hard to the Rams in the first half, losing by half time with a score of 1-0, a bit of impassioned coaching from Hunley gave the Falcons the inspiration they needed. A drive from junior striker JT Waldon ’19 led to the Falcon equalizer, followed up by a masterfully executed chip from senior Jarod Enos ’18 to put the Falcons ahead 2-1. Finally, in the last minutes of the match, a Rams foul led to the a penalty shot from Alex Silva ’18 that easily sped past the keeper. The Falcons, with their 3-2 victory over the Rams, are now undefeated in their league with a record of two wins.
Despite all the trials and tribulations the Men’s Varsity Soccer team has faced in their preseason, the boys still hold a sense of hope for the future of their team. Though they may be young, the Falcons are strong, and they now look to use this hope to their advantage in the coming weeks, particularly against rival school Vista Del Lago on January 16th. The team’s comeback has begun. Now, all that’s left is to see how far they can fly. The best of luck to the boys of the pitch in their league season.