Boys’ Soccer Team Kicking it Up a Notch

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Boys’ Soccer Team Kicking it Up a Notch

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[ot-caption title=”Junior Joseph Murciano fighting for the ball during a home game on December 4th, 2015. (via, Camila Piza/Freshman)”]

The Pine Crest Boys’ Soccer Season is underway, and even with the graduation of several 2015 senior starters last year, this year’s gentlemen are looking fit, focused, and in fighting mode. The twenty-one players that make up this year’s Panther 2015-2016 Varsity Boys Soccer team are under the knowledgeable and effective direction of head coach Olaf Henke.  One thing that has surely helped the squad perform is the abundance of leadership and experience throughout the roster.  Senior captains Billy Roy, Yani Fabre, and Martin Iragorri Amaya lead the pack, and their fellow senior classmates, Aram Leighton, Jake Nachlas, Alex Caldwell, Harrison Bernstein, Juan Vazques, Quin Spey, and Eddie Soto, provide valuable assistance, as well.  It’s not just the seniors though.  This year’s team is one of the older ones you’ll find on the PC campus, as eighteen of the twenty-one listed on the varsity roster are upperclassmen.  And the club will rely on this group of veterans to help make their goals a reality this season.

Over the past few years, a pattern has emerged on the soccer field in South Florida. The PC Boys’ Soccer Team consistently puts out some great talent, has very successful regular seasons, and is then thwarted in a postseason competition that has been dominated by North Broward over the past decade.  Despite the fact that advancing past the early playoff stages has been problematic, the talent this team has featured should not go unnoticed. Many notable, recent alums decided to pursue soccer after PC and into college: Max Krieg (Haverford), Jack Marchetto (Wash U), David Abers (Babson), Mark Simpson (Cincinnati), and Wyatt Zeller (Tufts).  The team has lost some key seniors, for sure, over the past few years, and this year’s team knows that they will have to work hard to succeed. Juan Vazquez states, “We lost a lot of good players, so we are practically a new team. We started off slow, but we are getting better and better.” Even with the loss of skilled players, the team is continuing to conquer obstacles and persevere.

While a team is certainly meant to be greater as a whole than divided into its parts, it’s the individual student-athletes at Pine Crest that make the team special because of their passion and enthusiasm. And this year’s team has some creative and talented individuals.  Current senior and left back Harrison Bernstein shares that a slide tackle is his favorite move in soccer and happily employs it for the benefit of the team.  Senior and midfielder Eduardo Soto loves the game for its freedom on the field in comparison to some other rule-heavy games; known for his outgoing presence, Eduardo also likes that he is never afraid to show some personality on the field.  Junior Brett Koolik, whose favorite professional soccer player is Lionel Messi, loves coming in with a clear and fresh mindset to the second half of a game to clinch the win.

As a key member of the team throughout his high school career, Martin Iragorri shares some insight into what it means to be captain of the PC Boys Soccer Team and his commitment to the team; he comments, “I have to make sure that everyone knows when and where practice is, make sure everyone is on good terms with each other, that the coach is okay with everyone, and on the field I have to be aware of my surroundings and the players on the field. The team is 3-4, but the players on this year’s team are committed to each other and to ultimately achieving excellence. They’re well aware that the season is far from over. As Coach Henke put it, ‘This season is a grind.’”

Check out the boys soccer team game schedule at http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Pine-Crest-High-School-Fort-Lauderdale-FL/season/12-03-2015/Boys/Varsity/Soccer/ Cheer on your classmates as they play their way through what will hopefully be a very successful season.  Go Panthers!