Varsity boys soccer team prepares for upcoming challenges against top teams

Nelson Aydelotte

The boys varsity soccer team is off to a 5-6-3 start to the season and a 3-6-3 start to begin District play. While this might not be the most stellar start to a season, the Chaps have notched impressive victories against several quality opponents, including a talented Austin High team. The Chaps’ season will end with a bang March 8 as they face first-in-District Lake Travis (18-1 overall, 11-0 in District).

“So far we have shown a lot of potential of what this team can do,” junior Michael Garcia said. “We performed very well at the Klein tournament, which I think is a great example of that. We are a very dangerous team that is expected to be in the playoffs. Coach [John] Campbell has pushed us in practice, only expecting our very best each and every day, which has helped us develop our play into a very high level of soccer.”

The Chaps tied Akins by a score of 2-2 on Feb. 26, and tied Bowie by a score of 0-0 on Feb. 29. The Chaps were led by seniors Noah Pape and Ryan Kutnick who both scored in the tie against Akins.

“We played a great game but we just couldn’t pull out a win versus Akins,” junior Robert Vassilev said. “We were able to score when it mattered most, and Noah’s penalty kick really helped us but they were able to stick with us whenever we got any momentum.”

The Chaps worked almost every day of the fall semester to get conditioned and ready for their upcoming season.

“I think our work off the field has really translated onto the field,” Robert said. “What we do in practice every day has helped us become the team we are now, and I know that all of that work will translate into wins sooner or later.”

While the Chaps are currently seventh in district, behind Austin High, Anderson, and Lake Travis, to name a few, they look to improve their status in the rankings by winning their last four upcoming games. They play the first and fifth ranked District teams (Lehman and Lake Travis) to close out the month of March.

“Looking ahead in our schedule, I think that Lake Travis or Lehman will be our greatest tests to end the season,” Michael said. “They are both District Title contenders. Lake Travis made it deep into the playoffs last year, so they are really a top-notch team.”

The playoff loss last year left a bitter taste in the Chaps’ mouth; this season they look to wash it away by gaining some quality wins and improving on last year’s 7-7-1 District record.

“We were definitely disappointed at the end of last season,” Robert said. “But we did a lot of good things, and we wouldn’t let a loss dictate what would happen next season. We have a lot of really good talent on the team, and we have put in the work to be able to go farther than we did last year.”