Hailing from Wilton, Conn., Co-Captain Max Levi ’19 picked up soccer at the age of five. Having played for Beachside Soccer Club for over six years prior to enrolling at Andover his Lower year, Levi walked onto Andover Boys Soccer as the team’s starting goalie.
Unlike most athletes, Levi excels both as a goalie and a field player, according to teammates Kion Young ’20 and Lucas Stowe ’20. Despite Levi’s recent hand injury — which resulted in seven stitches in his left hand — preventing him from playing goalie, his diverse skill set allowed him to translate his success in net onto the field as a defender.
Young said, “As a goalie, [Levi is] easily one of the best goalkeepers I’ve known. Technically, he’s really good. But I think the biggest thing about him is his ability to use his feet. Most goalkeepers can’t use their feet as well as field players, but he’s easily as good as the field players.”
“As our coach has said many times before, [Levi] is one of the best goalies in the league, and by far the best goalie with his feet, which gives us a support system we can pass back to and know he’s not going to screw it up. He’s very good at playing as a field player,” said Stowe. “Right now he’s injured, and he actually can’t play goal. He’s so good with his feet that he’s playing center defensive position right now for our team. He’s still finding ways to contribute even while he’s injured and can’t play his natural position.”
Isaac Hershenson ’20 added, “[Levi] has played well as a goalie but, even more impressively, when he injured his hand and was held out of goalkeeping duties, Max has stepped up as a great defender for the team and done so willingly as only great captains could.”
Alongside his noteworthy footwork and natural athleticism, Levi leads the team with powerful communication whether it be in games or during practice. According to Levi, as goalkeeper he must be the loudest person on the field as his role necessitates him to help coordinate the rest of the team by telling the players how to position themselves and how to track the opposition’s offensive players.
“He’s loud. On the field he’ll be one of the loudest you’ll hear. He’s always encouraging people and never gets on them when they make a mistake. That really helps out the team because people need that, especially new people. They get nervous when they play, and they need someone to just support them, and Max is there for them. It was the same way for me when I came on to the team,” said Young.
Levi’s role as a captain, however, goes beyond his physical talents; with a vibrant and caring personality, he fosters a positive atmosphere within the team and only looks to see his teammates improve, according to Young, Stowe, and David O’Brien ’21.
“Max is just a naturally great leader because he’s always energetic, always positive, always trying to help out the team in his own way. Even when people mess up or make a mistake, he’s always the type of guy to be helping them up. He’s always telling them to keep on going. He’s a very charismatic leader,” said Young.
O’Brien added, “He’s very good at getting us locked in and ready to go during games and even during practices. He just gets us all focused when we need it the most. I’d say he’s a great leader. He’s supportive. He’s loud on the field. He’s definitely a presence, and you’ll definitely know he’s there.”
Stowe said, “Max is basically our team spokesperson. He’s like a third coach to us. He’s really good at motivating everyone especially before games, or even just during practice. He’s good at getting everyone together and making sure everyone’s working hard, holding you accountable for everything.”
According to Stowe, a new addition to Andover Soccer, Levi has helped him and the other new members of the team adjust.
Stowe said, “I am a first-year player, and he did a great job especially in the beginning of the year of welcoming me in and teaching me how the team works, how the program works, and stuff like that. Max is a really good captain and also a really good friend. He’s also very good especially with supporting the younger kids on the team, and everyone knows if they have a problem they can turn to Max.”
Connor Ding ’20 said, “[Levi’s] biggest strength [as a captain] is that he can connect with every member of the team, and he finds ways to get everyone motivated for practices and games. He is also very good at communicating on the field which allows him to help organize our team defensively.”
Levi says he hopes that the team will be able to secure a high enough position at the end of the season in order to have a home game in the playoffs.
Editor’s Note: Max Levi is a Layout Editor for The Phillipian.