Seniors on the Boys Soccer Team Share Their Season Reflections

Sofia Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

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  • The biggest lesson learned from La Salle soccer for senior co-captain Finbar O’Brien is, “Learning through role models,” he said. “Because I remember being a younger kid on the team and not really knowing much and then learning through other people.”

  • The biggest lesson for co-captain senior Seamus Gwyn is “how to work hard,” he said. “How to find your place in a group setting.”

  • “Determination, [and] hard work pays off at the end of the day,” Senior Luke Warner said.

  • “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is the importance of teamwork and to just work as a team,” Senior Nate Taylor said.

  • The biggest lesson senior Buddy Malouf learned is, “Try out new things because you might like them.”

  • “The biggest lesson [is] making sure you have the right attitude towards your teammates and stay as a family,” senior Samuele Marquez said.

  • “I learned that if you want to improve at something, surround yourself with people that are much better than you,” Owen Nichols said.

  • Since it was the closing league home game, the nine seniors on the boy’s varsity soccer team were celebrated through senior night.

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The boy’s varsity soccer team has played their last league home game of the season.

Since it was the closing league home game, the nine seniors on the boy’s varsity soccer team were celebrated through senior night.

Senior night is a night in which the other members of the team celebrate their graduating players and thank them for the dedication and hard work that they have shown.

The team has been performing well this season with an overall record of 10-1-2. They are the current 5A boys soccer state champions and are hoping to defend their title come playoffs.

Last year’s title win marked a memorable occasion for many of the seniors, especially Owen Nichols.

“My fondest memory is just hugging my childhood friends after we won a state championship together,” he said.

The close friendships on the team are what many of the members consider to be their favorite aspect. “Everybody knows everybody, we all have great chemistry,” Samuele Marquez said.

“It’s been really cool, you know, playing with all these people, from JV2 all the way up to our senior year on varsity,” Jackson Chapman said.

This is what drew Buddy Malouf to the soccer team. This year marked his first time playing for La Salle’s team, as he previously participated in football. “I wanted to spend my senior year with my friends, and all my friends play soccer,” he said. 

The close relationships on the team don’t end with the players; the coaches also have a lasting impact on them. “[Coach Monty Hawkins] teaches us that every game is a championship, and that’s something I’ll take with me,” Nichols said. 

With the winning mentality that surrounds them, the upperclassmen often feel more of a demand to play well. “I feel a bit more pressure to perform and win, but I mean, it’s just soccer,” Luke Warner said. 

The demand for consistent performance isn’t the only difference between being an underclassmen on the team to being an upperclassmen. “It’s always fun and it always has been but the intensity of each game comes with senior varsity soccer,” Nate Taylor said.

This pressure to win pushes the team to try their hardest, even in practice. “Practice, it’s always super competitive,” said co-captain Finbar O’Brien. “But afterwards when we are stretching, there’s no hard feelings.”

The winning culture of the team is something that players have expressed their gratitude for. “The expectation for soccer is to win every single game, go undefeated, and win the state championship,” Malouf said. “We’re such a dominant school, so it’s a pretty special thing to be part of.”