By Cedrina Missamou and Jennica Ruan
Malden High’s boys soccer team has started the season with much drive and determination, which has been paying off as they have had a great start. The team currently has a record of 6-0-2 making them undefeated thus far. One of their most recent victories occurred on September 22nd at Pine Banks against the Methuen Rangers. Malden won with a score of 7- 0, with goals scored by captain and senior Patrick Pereira, senior Eric Toh, Jefferson Malachie, Lucas Pedro, and Leonardo Lima Antunes.
Although every victory is great, the first game of the season on September 6th was particularly exciting . Their score of 1-1 against the Medford Mustangs, left the team feeling “ very accomplished and proud” stated midfielder Douglas Do Nascimento. The two teams have been rivals for a long time now, with the win or loss often determined by only one point, so the boys were especially stoked about the results, which showcased their improvement from last year so early in the season.
Jeremiah Smith, an english teacher at Malden High. has coached the team for 14 years now, and will continue to do so this season. It will also be led by captains Patrick Pereira (with his second year of leading the team,) Joseph Costa, and Manuel Quesada-Nylen. When asked to comment on the people that will be leading the team, many expressed their high expectations for the season; because of the strong leadership. Junior Salim Tiken, a goalie on the team along with captain Quesada-Nylen, stated that the captains are “very motivational,” and that they encourage him and many other players on the team “to perform better.”
The team ended last season with a record of 7-9-3. Although they had qualified for states in the two previous years (making semi-finals in 2014 and quarterfinals in 2015), they were not able to do so in the season of 2016. When asked what may have caused this, captain Manuel Quesada-Nylen stated that “[they] had potential to be a good team” but due to arguments off the field amongst some of the teammates “on the field [they] were not able to produce.”
Encouraged by Coach smith to “depend as a team and move as a unit,” the boys have been working diligently to come together as a team not only on the field, but also off. They all wish to spend the season improving as a group, and of course being able to take more time to work on offensive and defensive strategies that will make them even stronger. They hope that all their efforts and hardwork will allow them to reach their goal of making states.
The boys soccer team’s next game will be against Methuen on September 29 at Methuen High’s soccer field.