Record does not show team's skill, hard work for boys' soccer

The Newtonite

by Jacob Gurvis

Boys’ soccer, 2-3-1, has played well so far, but has work to do, according to coach Roy Dow.

When the Tigers have played well, they have “moved the ball quickly through the midfield,” said Dow, “and combined with our forward to either get the ball out wide and into the box for scoring opportunities or get behind the center backs through the middle. We have a good group of attacking players who can go forward, and when they play the right way and play to feet quickly, we are at our best.”

Senior Sean McIntyre, a captain with seniors Stanley Alves and Ryan Millione, said, “We are clicking well up top. Our offense is much more potent than in past years and is creating several chances a game. We already have 12 goals in five games.”

Dow said the Tigers “need to work on dealing with balls that come into penalty box and not letting them bounce. If we can get to balls more quickly and not allow the other team to get second and third chances at goal, we will be successful and give up fewer goals.”

In addition to working on limiting the ball’s bounces inside the goalie box, Dow thinks that the Tigers need to improve their play in transition, and make the switch from attack to defense more smooth.

McIntyre said that the Tigers need to execute better in general.

“We need to be more accountable for doing our job on the field. Each player has their own separate job to do, whether it be marking their man in the box, distributing the ball out of the midfield, or finishing chances up top,” he said

Dow said , “If we can accomplish these goals we will limit the chances other teams have in a game.”

Dow said that the first game of the season, Sept. 3 against Walpole, is his highlight of the season thus far.

“The highlight of the season so far was getting a win in our first game at home. We hope to make Newton a difficult place to come play, and by winning that first game we set the tone for ourselves that we expect to get good results when we are at home.”

McIntyre said, “The highlight of the season so far is a 5-3 win at Newton South because we tied them the last two years and it was good to dominate our city rivals. Stanley Alves scored 4 goals against them and it was a great way to pick up our first win of the season and showed that we can put the ball in the back of the net,” he said.

Dow listed Alves and juniors Ben Basset and Francis Muumba as players who have brought something extra to the team.

“Every game, different players have been able to step up and give us some good minutes,” he said.

The Tigers have high hopes for this year. Dow said the team’s goal for this season is to make the state tournament again.

“This is a hungry group who wants to learn and get better game to game and practice to practice. If we are able to do that, our reward will be playing games in November,” he said.

According to McIntyre, defense is the biggest thing holding the Tigers back from another tournament run.

“To get back into the tournament, we need to get more organized on defense because we have struggled there a lot so far this year. Combined with our promising  goalie, sophomore Nate Hollenberg, a solid defense would easily propel us to a good tournament seed and set us up for postseason success” he said.

The Tigers have three upcoming games, Monday, Thursday, and Saturday this week.