When varsity prospects arrive on campus a week before everyone else, they aren’t here to decorate their dorms before everyone else is. They come ready to work.
There is always a lot of hope entering the Fall Season for teams, but Andover Boys Varsity Soccer does not rely on hope alone to win matches. This team relies on hard work and grit to get where they want to be, according to Co-Captain Henry Rogers ’19.
“We expect to work hard all season long and earn a playoff spot in the Nepsac Class A tournament come November,” said Rogers.
The team recently scrimmaged Hotchkiss and ended the game in a tie.
Charlie Murphy ’19 said, “We really stuck together and played great defensively and moved the ball well.”
This year’s team is captained by Rogers and Max Levi ’19, and the team consists of 13 returning players this year, eight of them Seniors.
According to Murphy, the team is stronger this year due to the cohesiveness among players.
Murphy said, “Our strength this year is our sense of togetherness. Last year we were talented individuals, but we didn’t have the attitudes to do anything good. This year, even after our first game, I can feel a much different and better atmosphere on the team.”
The team measures much smaller than it has in previous years, as it has lost many primary contributors from last season, a few of whom went on to play the game at the next level. In particular, the team will miss former Captain Will Raphael ’18, now at Tufts University, as well as Hayden Weatherall ’18 (Bowdoin College), Andrei Dumitrescu ’18 (MIT), and Andres Marx ’18 (Wesleyan University).
With the addition of eight new players to the returning core, there is talent spread throughout the roster. Impact players all over the field include Levi in the goal and David Wang ‘20 and Rolando Rabines ‘19 in the midfield. Murphy said of Rabines’ performance, “He will be a pivotal player this year. As a center midfielder, he is quite aggressive on 50/50s [i.e. attacking contested balls] and can dribble well.”
Rogers said of Head Coach Edwin Escobar and his coaching style, “He knows his players really well and makes sure to keep up a constant stream of communication when relaying any decision that he makes. It’s an honor to play under him.”
Although the team has only been together for two weeks, rituals have already started. Pre-game rituals include getting in a quick game of soccer volleyball the day before a match, as well as listening to music before games.
“I just love the guys on BVS. A lot of guys have been my friends since the day I stepped on campus, and that makes it all the more meaningful when we go out on the field and compete together,” said Rogers.
Rogers added, “Our toughest game this season, apart from [Phillips Exeter Academy], which is always going to be hard, will be an under-the-lights game away at Loomis [Chaffee]. We beat them 4-1 under our lights last season, and they ended up winning the championship Class A, so they’ll want revenge.”