After a wildly successful 2018-2019 season, the soccer team hopes to carry on the momentum to their upcoming season. Taking over the role of team captains are Sixth Formers Luke Macaione, Will Boyes, Mitchell Hark, and M.J. Atkins. In their new positions, they have been leading the team both on and off the field, focusing on building team chemistry, something they feel is important.
“Being senior leaders and a captain is definitely a pretty drastic change because I’ve always been more of a quiet kid who loved to listen to Will Micheletti, Griffin Wada or Scott Marshall fire the team up,” Macaione said. “But now me, Mitchell, M.J., and Will have the responsibility of leading the team in our own way, and it’s definitely different from the more rambunctious senior class last year.”
On taking up the new leadership role as seniors, Macaione said, “It’s also definitely been a personal challenge, and I am still learning the best way to lead and finding the good balance of an enjoyable experience but also an intense and ambitious training atmosphere.”
Of course, practice and hard work remain a staple for the team. During the preseason, the team practiced roughly four hours a day, in addition to training to complete a two-mile run in under twelve minutes all summer.
“Preseason was definitely a grind,” Macaione said, “but we found out that we have a lot of depth and a bunch of underclassmen who will be key pieces of the team this season, which is rare for such a competitive team.”
“A huge part of the Haverford soccer culture is the family bond we have with each other.”Luke Macaione ’20
As per tradition, the team had their annual beach weekend after preseason, giving the team a chance to build chemistry off the field, which Macaione said, “is just as important as on the field.”
“A huge part of the Haverford soccer culture is the family bond we have with each other. That’s one of the many reasons why I love and enjoy it so much,” Macaione said.
After their weekend at Long Beach Island, NJ, the team jumped right into action to prepare for their first game against Archbishop Curley, during which they reaped the benefits of their hard work and came away with a 2-1 overtime victory.
Hark, who netted one of the team’s goals, said, “The first game against Curley was a huge morale boost.” After all their hard work during practice, practicing their runs and spending multiple hours a day running drills, “it felt great to come out with a win,” Hark said.
“The only thing we’re focused on is the Inter-Ac championship and the state tournament.”Mitchell Hark ’20
The team is already looking to the future, however. “The only thing we’re focused on is the Inter-Ac championship and the state tournament,” Hark said. “Hopefully preseason continues to build chemistry amongst the players, creating a well-oiled team that can steamroll through teams.”
This season will be the second under Coach Keefe and Coach Poolman, and with the team in good shape, they look to head into the regular season and win it all.