Boys’ soccer keeps the ball rolling into SPC. Coach Ziad Allan, assisted by Coach Franco Silva, have revamped the team by establishing a new system of offense.
“It’s the greatest St. John’s team I’ve ever played on, and we’re going to win SPC,” senior Fred Lang said.
Although Lang broke his hand halfway through the season, his optimism remains. The team, which placed eighth in Division I last year, clinched second-seed in South Zone this year.
“We’ve been focusing on developing a new style of soccer by passing the ball around, like Barcelona,” Allan said.
The boys’ soccer team tied 2-2 after overtime at their last game, when they played the John Cooper School. The team’s record stands at ten wins, three losses, and two draws heading into SPC.
“We have been the unselfish team. We share the ball, we stick together whether things on the field are going bad or well,” Allan said. “I think our togetherness has been the biggest thing. The players say their focus is simply to stick to the plan: keep the possession of the ball.”
This team cooperation has allowed the Mavericks to maintain their 80% league statistics and 70% non-league statistics.
“Our communication, passing and overall ability as a team has grown substantially,” freshman Hayden Simmons said.
Their success is in large part due to their revamped practices, which feature more passing drills and technique, including the one-touch pass.
“My favorite part of the season has been the practices. Ziad is by far the most creative and unpredictable coach I’ve ever had,” junior Akshay Jaggi said. “I just really love my soccer family because the guys on the team know when to be serious but also when to have fun and joke around.”
Boys’ soccer plays its first SPC game St. Mark’s at 12:00 p.m. at Houston Christian, Feb. 14.
Brooke Kushwaha & Matthew Neal