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Woodland Boys Soccer – Next Man Up Mentality

The Woodland Boys Soccer team is no stranger to facing adversity and overcoming obstacles. To close the 2021 fall season, the boys soccer team was eliminated in the semi-finals in heartbreaking fashion to Watertown. While the loss signified the end of their season, it also proved to be the final game for 13 Woodland seniors, including five starters. The departure of these boys hit each and every team member very hard.

“The whole team was very close last year,” said John Sizer, current Junior captain of the soccer team, said. “We lost a big part of our soccer team when they graduated.”

With the tally of seniors resulting in more than half of the team’s roster, the remaining players were well-aware of the heavy task they were bound to approach next season. Nonetheless, they have been able to face this adversity head on since the first practice.

“It’s been tough, but the players that we have are strong and show a lot of promise,” said Senior Captain, Alex Farr, regarding the loss of seniors. “We still have a great amount of talent.”

The team’s early season results are backing up this mentality as well. They currently have 8 wins, 1 loss, and 3 ties, with their one loss outside of NVL play. They hold key wins against Naugatuck and Ansonia, and have tied tough teams such as Holy Cross and Watertown.

Most importantly, the team is rising to the occasion despite the senior losses. Players who rarely played last year are now focal points of the squad.

“Players like Liam Muricchio, Alex Farr, and RJ Giampetruzzi would play for hours if it meant helping the team. We also have a very solid midfield that is controlled by Aldin Jahja and Matt Villano who in my opinion are some of the best midfielders in the NVL,” said Sizer.

As of now, all signs point to a potential title run for Woodland based on how they are currently playing. While the boys have certainly not forgotten the previous seniors, it is clear that they have not skipped a beat since they graduated. The team also knows that no matter how well they play in the regular season, they need to perform in the playoffs in order to close out a successful season.

“Although a challenge, I know that if we really come to play there should be no reason why we don’t win,” said Farr. “And so far this season, the boys have come to play.”

Bryce DiGiovanna

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