The Boys’ Soccer Team Works Hard to Improve this Season

The Malden High School Boys’ Soccer team has been hard at work trying to improve this season. With multiple games a week, they have been putting out their best efforts with the hopes of making States.

This past week they had several games, including a tough 5-0 loss against Watertown. Watertown, with a record of 4-6-2, proved to be a tough opponent for the team. However, this did not stop Malden from doing their absolute best to make sure that they did not go down without a fight.

Senior Waly Diouf &  Junior Zechariah Mayne Foster running into position. HADJAR YOUSFI

This past season has unfortunately proved difficult for the team as they enter the final weeks of the season with a record of 3-9. Struggles within the season have not stopped them from competing in every match they play.

Although their scores have been anything but desirable, Varsity Coach Jeremiah Smith is proud of the team and their neverending efforts. However, Smith has found that the issue may have been the large shift in the team’s lineup due to injuries, students moving away, and graduation: “We’re bringing in a lot of new players, we have only five returning players from last year.

“That kind of turnover makes it difficult, especially at the start of the year,” Smith explained. He expressed that “trying to create chemistry between the players is really tough,” especially due to their packed schedule as the team plays between 2-4 games a week, leaving little room for team bonding.

In fact, when considering the team’s current chemistry, Smith feels as though it is their biggest weakness, “because we have so many new players all being mixed together.” 

However, he does not doubt that they are all out on the field. “The scoreboard doesn’t really show how close the teams were on the field. Our effort has been there every single game,” Smith explained. 

Smith has done his best to incorporate different game strategies into their practices. He tries his best to concentrate on “what we are struggling with in the games, or based on the scouting report of the team that we are playing next.” He does his best to work to his team’s strengths while making sure that they are aware of their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.

Coach Jeremiah Smith discusses what the team's next play should be. HADJAR YOUSFI

As the team struggles to adjust to such big shifts in the roster, lots of pressure has been put onto the shoulders of the captains. “My actions hold way more weight since I need to be setting an example,” explained captain Ali Zoulgami. He also feels that “keeping the team together in tough times,” has proved difficult. 

Many of the players have felt a sense of disappointment when they reflect on the season’s current status. “I feel like this season could’ve been much better than we expected, our game plan didn’t work out well but the great performances we’ve put into our successful games showed that we can do much better and become a consistent team,” said Senior player Waly Diouf. He expressed that the team has improved greatly but he knows that “there’s still work to be done.”

When considering the season overall, sophomore Sandesh Ghimire expressed that “some games were very disappointing, but some games, against Everett, for example, I was very happy about even though I didn’t play.” The team won against Everett 2-1.

Despite the team having trouble working together, they have managed to keep a positive attitude when considering the possibility of making it to the state tournament. “We’re still striving to qualify for a state tournament,” Smith explained. “If we can get a couple of wins in the next couple of games, we would be in a position to maybe qualify.”

When considering the possibility of making it to States, sophomore Yasser Belatreche is determined to achieve this goal in the hopes that the seniors get to attend one last tournament before graduating, “I don’t care about myself, I have two more years.” 

“We have a lot of potential but we also have a lot to work on,” Belatreche noted. Diouf agreed with Belatreche. “In those moments we have gotten each other back and keep working harder to make the team better and I feel like we’re improving but still there’s a lot of work ahead to get the team upfront,” Diouf explained.

“I think this team has been through a rough time, to say the least. We’ve lost many players due to injuries and that made our season go down a rough path. We have been trying to fight throughout every game till the very end with what we have and we hope to maybe catch some wins in the last couple of games. We are a skillful bunch but we have many things to work on,” Junior Matteo Tah explained.

Junior Nahim Laguerre and Senior Mohamed Bouchtout running down the field. Sophomore Yasser Belatreche kicks the ball up the field. HADJAR YOUSFI

When it comes to playing a game like soccer, emotions tend to come into play as every single player on the pitch feels a sense of passion for the game. Many players have noted their hope of improving their awareness in order to play with a better sense of rationality and thought. “I used to just play mindlessly but now this year I know what I’m doing and I can see what’s coming,” Belatreche explained.

Many players feel as though they have improved in many different aspects of their game. “I have been able to get more used to the ball and I play more aggressive on the field now against bigger opponents,” Tah revealed. “I’ve been trying to play the ball as quickly as possible when given to me so I don’t risk getting pressured off the ball.”

Zoulgami feels as though he personally has had a great improvement in his confidence, especially as he works “to adapt to this new position better,” as he recently switched from being a winger to now being a mid-fielder.

As the season progresses and slowly comes to an end, the team hopes to keep pushing forward and improving as much as they can, to hopefully achieve their goal of making States. And no matter the outcome of the season, it is without a doubt that the team has done their very best, “I’m really proud of the effort that we’ve been showing even in some of these losses,” expressed Smith.

This Tuesday, October 17th at McDonald’s Stadium the team will be celebrating Senior Night during their game against Lynn Classical at 7:00 PM. Family and friends are welcome to stop by in order to support the large group of graduating seniors of the class of 2024.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :