With their final game taking place this month in early November, the Malden High’s Boys Varsity Soccer team ends their season off with a record of 8-6-4.
After many ups and downs that happened throughout their soccer period, the varsity players pushed through and accomplished their goal of making it to the states tournament. Head Coach Jeremiah Smith was not surprised at all with this outcome. Smith was positive that the boys would make it to states. He even added that our Varsity Soccer Team should be more than capable of “qualifying for states every year” and that Smith never doubted their abilities to get where they are.
In terms of preparations for the states tournament, the soccer team takes a different approach for how they train compared to them just practicing for a regular season game.
Typically for a state tournament, the team focuses on having a more defensive mindset that gets distributed through every player. For one, the soccer team works on breaking down tight defenses. Smith points out that the boys must prepare for possible penalty shots. He said that in the past “We’ve gone to PK a couple of times” if the game were to remain tied by the end.
Junior player Kyle Lee added that the team absolutely “trained very hard” almost every day during practices. He notes that some of the teammates and himself even practiced together outside of school hours as well to “see what we needed to improve on” and “judge from there”.
Lee said the team did their best to “maintain a proper eating schedule and diet” as well. The team was determined to become their best physical shape in order to succeed.
The Varsity Boys Soccer team had their last game on Thursday, November 4th. The awaited match was an away game, and it took over two hours to get there. The opposing opponents were the Franklin Panthers from Franklin High School. The final score was an unfortunate 0-5, a loss taken from Malden.
Although the loss was a disappointment for the boys, Coach Jeremiah Smith remarked that this loss gave him the opportunity to reflect on his expectations within himself and the team. He pointed out that the boys need to “act and behave in an appropriate fashion” no matter the result of the score.
Smith said “I am going to continue to conduct in a professional manner at all times.” and that he is going to “maintain all of my emotions throughout the game”. Smith emphasized that he tries to pass these expectations onto the players as well. An example is from Junior player Bradley Touissant. Touissant said that regardless of the loss, he has “ high hopes” that the team and himself will win more games and have a longer season next year.
Despite not winning, the final score doesn’t always reflect how good of a player you can be. Smith mentioned a very specific player, goalie Josh Angulo Gonzalez. Smith said that Gonzalez was by far “amazing” and was easily the highlight of the game. Both the officials and opposing coach told Smith after the game that they thought Josh was “the player of the game”, especially in a losing effort as well. “To say that the losing goalie was the best player on the field that game was very impressive. He made ten saves in the first twenty minutes of the game.” Smith remarked.
There were all kinds of mishaps that happened along the way during the long season. Smith said that he “definitely learned” that this group of kids were resilient when it came to facing setbacks. “Those setbacks never lasted,” Smith continued. “We were able to put it behind us, and move onto the next game”. Coach Smith concluded that he is very proud of Malden High’s Boys Varsity Soccer team. “Their resiliency especially”, he pointed out. He says that it is something that will last them a lifetime beyond just high school sports.
Like it is every year, there are going to be some good moments and some bad ones. In the end, the boys were proud of all their accomplishments they made throughout the season and kept a bright outlook. Getting to the state tournament is not an easy goal. They worked hard all year to get there.
What matters most is that the Boys Varsity Soccer team pursues making their commitment to the team stronger than ever next year for the future season