By EMMA CEPLINSKAS
The remaining leaves have begun to fall, signaling a close to another successful soccer season. Malden High School’s boys soccer team pushed itself to the limit and persevered for another chance at states. Though last year’s seniors graduated, many of the starters and players have “worked hard and shown that [they] can compete,” expressed senior captain Richard Mulo. The team stands at a record of 9-7-1.
The players were motivated by one another through the “love and support everyone showed” stated junior captain Julio Da Silva. They have grown on and off the field, improving their agility as well as forming close knit friendships. “Last year [he] was not comfortable to score or control the game,” Mulo admitted, but he believes this season “has made [him] be a leader and take responsibilities.”
On Oct. 19, 2013, the team versed Bedford in a vigorous game. But before the players had the chance to make a comeback in the second half, the game came to an end with a tough loss of 0-2. After having time to recuperate, on Oct. 24, 2013 the team pulled out a tremendous win of 6-2 with goals scored by Da Silva, junior Felipe Calad, Mulo, and junior Nico Quesada Nylen.
Da Silva and Mulo believed the highlights of the season to be the games against Cambridge, Everett, and Medford. Each of these games delivered great wins and amazing efforts by the team. The team fought to the finish in their home game against Cambridge, tying the score late in the second half. The Everett game challenged the team’s will as the game was coming to an end and there was still no score, but they were able to secure two goals for the win in the final minutes. With a man down in the second half, the players still managed to hold onto their lead against Medford, ending with a final score of 5-1. These games and the countless others have allowed the team to qualify for the state tournament. There they hope to advance further than last year and be named the champions.
The greatest challenge the team has overcome is a “fear of failing” stated Da Silva. This is partly due to “inexperience because many current players were not on the team last year,” added Mulo. Both captains will take away their newfound leadership and patience from this season. Da Silva has “grown to understand that you should never be afraid to fail, but to be afraid to never try.”
As Mulo will be graduating in a just a few short months, he hopes to further his soccer career in college. Da Silva still has another year before graduating and hopes “for every player on the team, freshmen, junior varsity or varsity, to reach his greatest potential he can on the soccer field.”
Reflecting back on this season, packed with victories and filled with passion and persistence, Da Silva expressed that he “would not change anything. What happened was meant to be. That is why next year [the] team will be the best team MHS has ever seen.”