Boys' soccer falls short of tournament after frustrating season

The Newtonite

Soccerby Jacob Gurvis

Boys’ soccer, 4-8-4, has had a slightly disappointing season, according to coach Roy Dow.

The Tigers are out of playoff contention, having been unable to turn it around after a slow start. Despite the subpar performance, there are still some things to be proud of, said Dow.

“At different points this season, we have been able to play the type of soccer we strive for based on hard work and getting the ball into the 18 yard box. In the games we have been able to do that, we were able to have success and get some good results,” he said.

In addition, the Tigers’ sense of unity has benefited the team, according to Dow.

“No matter how the results have gone in games this year, the group has stuck together and become very close with one another. When results don’t go a team’s way, there can often be issues that arise because of it. That has not been the case with this group. They have remained close and upbeat throughout the season,” he said.

Senior Sean McIntyre, a captain with seniors Stanley Alves and Ryan Millione, also noted the team’s “cohesiveness as a group” as a strength.

“We all get along very well together, so in games that we are successful, it means that we had a very solid team effort, like tying top teams in the state. Conversely, our worst games are the ones where we don’t play together as one team,” he said.

With one last game remaining, the Tigers are looking to make improvements, and aren’t giving up despite not making the tournament.

“We are still working on putting a full 80 minutes together where we are focused and playing to our full potential,” said Dow.

According to McIntyre, the main issue for the Tigers has been creating scoring opportunities.

“Our midfield has struggled with keeping the ball and distributing it quickly. They have lost the ball a lot and had a tough time creating chances for the forwards. Additionally, disorganization in the defense has led to us allowing many soft or easy goals,” he said.

The Tigers have suffered multiple injuries that have hurt the team’s performance and resulted in a lack of consistency, according to Dow.

McIntyre also noted injuries as a factor that contributed to their subpar performance.

“Injuries are one big factor that has led to problems for us. We have lost many starters to injuries and others are playing through continuous ailments. This had led to some disorganization in the back and a loss of confidence. In games where we have conceded a goal, we have sometimes put our heads down because we think that we cannot come back,” he said.

The Tigers had a couple important games that proved crucial down the stretch, according to Dow.

“A game that comes to mind is the Newton South game early in the year,” said Dow. “We went down a goal early in the first half, then came back and put together 20 minutes of that half where we put them under a great deal of pressure and were able to bang four goals in. Also, it was nice to beat our cross town rivals, many of whom our players have grown up playing with for years.”

McIntyre mentioned the Tigers’ game against Needham earlier this season as a highlight.

“The highlight of our season so far was being down 2-0 to the defending State Champions and undefeated Needham midway through the season and then coming back to get a 2-2 draw where we dominated them in the second half and were only inches away from upsetting them,” he said.

According to McIntyre, a couple players have played particularly well. “Senior Stanley Alves is our leading goal scorer and sophomore Nate Hollenberg has been reliable in the net despite the amount of goals we’ve allowed,” he said.

Dow said, “Even though we are out of postseason contention, we want to end the year on a high note by playing hard and representing ourselves well on the field.”

The Tigers play Needham to end their season today.