Boys soccer makes playoffs in transitional year

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Josh White

Junior leftback Teddy Tannenbaum pushes the ball up the left wing against the Plainview JFK Hawks on Oct. 12. The Vikings lost the match 3-0.

Eric Fishbin, Sports Editor

With a team that was led by juniors this year, the Viking soccer team is excited for a seasoned squad next season.

Already having made the playoffs this season, the Vikings are expected to improve on previous results.

Only having two seniors on the team, the Vikings lacked the leadership necessary for a successful team.

However, with a large amount of returning players that will be seniors next year, that will not be a concern.

“This season was an experimental season to say the least.  Since there were only two seniors on the team it gave Coach a chance to see the development of the younger players.  It also gave him a chance to see good combinations of players of who will be on the field together next season,” said junior Hayden Braider.

Many of the juniors on the team have been playing together since Elementary school on the same travel team, the Wolverines.  Because of this, chemistry provides an advantage for the Vikings.

“It has a huge impact on the way we play, not only do we have a better feel for each other’s game but we play for each other and share that sort of brotherhood mentality,” said junior Daniel Ernst.

Having known each other for many years, the players are more encouraged to win for one another.

Also, having good relationships off the field further improves the spirit of the team.

“Playing together for so long has really influenced all of us in a positive way on and off the field.  Being best friends with each player makes winning feel that much better.  I can say throughout the years I have built unbreakable bonds with these kids.  It makes the game so much easier always knowing that each player on the field has your back no matter what.  If you mess up, they are there to pick you up and if you do something great, they’re the first kids there to congratulate you,” said Braider.

With 22 returning players, including 15 seniors, the Vikings expect nothing less than a county title.

“Our goal for next year is to win the counties.  We are coming off a playoff appearance, and with the fact that we have a ridiculous amount of returning players, we should have a high goal,” said Ernst.

Not only does the team have returning players, but many competitive teams in the division are losing key starters.

“The best teams in our division this season were Hicksville and Plainview.  The majority of the players on their teams were seniors and it was clear to see they had a clear advantage.  I believe we will be just as good or even better than those teams were last year,” said Braider.

The team is ready for what is to come, and looks forward to playing again next year with the experience it gained over the years playing together.