Winter sports recap

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Here are the remaining winter sports not recapped in the latest issue of The Patriot Post, covered by Sammy Rosenthal (boys soccer) and Joseph Richards (girls soccer, boys basketball and ice hockey).

Senior Nigel Murihead weaves through defenders in an away regular season 3-1 victory versus Somerset. (Photo/Malik Tucker)

Boys Soccer

After falling in the Regional Semifinals last season, the varsity boys soccer team headed into the 2021 season with eyes set on the state crown. Despite expectations though, the Patriots fell short of making the playoffs, finishing with a 5-3-4 leaving many on the team to wonder what could have been.

“The season, not going to sugarcoat it, was bad,” junior center back Joseph Richards, who was forced to watch from the sidelines due to a season-ending injury, said. “What held us back the most was our heart. There was never a game where everyone played with all of their effort.”

Looking ahead to next year, though, the Patriots plan to address the takeaways from a lost season as they work to return to form for the 2022 campaign.

“The positives from this season are that the team was able to get their chemistry up and make memories,” junior Federico Gorini said. “The negatives are that we didn’t get to live up to what we wanted. The team will look back at this year and take it as inspiration to work harder for next year. The players know how disappointing it felt when our season was over and nobody wants to feel like that again. So I believe we will work harder so we won’t be in that situation again for next year.”

Girls Soccer

The girls soccer team’s season came to an end in the dying minutes of the regional semifinals. After leading 1-0 for the majority of the game, the Lady Patriots fell 3-2 in the last two minutes of double overtime to a free kick from Cardinal Gibbons. Though the team was young and did not have a single experienced senior on the squad, Coach Cindy Marcial stated that the underclassmen had grown and matured throughout the season to fulfill their roles.

“I’ve given some playing time to some of the younger players, sophomores, like right back Dori Johnson  and Romiana Wittek at forward, and you wouldn’t think they were new to the high school scene. They have played really well,” Coach Marcial said.

Coach Marcial also voiced her approval of her juniors who have stepped up to the plate, captaining and guiding the team this season. These captains include juniors goalkeeper Sophia Garcia, central midfielders Savanna Hydes and Mia Young, forward Diana Pon, and left back Jessica Olivieras.  

Like their coach, the players believe that they can win the state championship in the 2021–2022 season. “I think we will win the championship,” Garcia said. “You know, all our starters will be returning against teams that only beat us because they had more seniors. Plus, we’ll use the loss against Gibbons this year to really fuel us on our road to the state finals next year.”

 Covering the statistics of the season, Sophia Garcia had six shutouts across all games in the goalkeeping position. Savannah Hydes led the team in goals (five), followed by Diane Pon and Mia Young (three), and, in terms of assists, Savannah also led the team tallying a total of seven, followed by Diane Pon in second with five.

“I had a pretty good season individually,” Hydes said, “but I’m still unhappy. My sights are pretty much already on next year and I’m looking forward to it.”

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball team’s season ended in a 53-37 loss to Boyd Anderson High School at Archbishop McCarthy Feb. 10. With a final record of 6-5, there were many ups and downs that the boys and Coach Raja Bell faced during the season. 

Due to Covid-19, the team wasn’t able to do any preseason conditioning or running in preparation for their schedule, already putting them at a disadvantage. Another set back included someone on the team testing positive for COVID-19 at the time on two separate occasions, quarantining  all players for two weeks. 

The team was able to recover from these hardships and win a few games against teams like Somerset Prep (65-60) and Monsignor Pace (83-46). This would then earn them a spot in the playoffs for the district championship, winning their district quarterfinal game 73-49 against Northeast High School. That would be their last win of the season, as they would go on to play Boyd Anderson in the district semifinals. 

“It was definitely a weird [season] for sure,” junior Sean Jones said. “Everything got misplaced because there was no preseason conditioning, plus with all the covid scares that happened. Boyd Anderson was a tough team, and has been a tough team for years, and we did the best we could considering the circumstances we were under.”

Though it was a tough season, there were still key contributors to the team who stood out with their consistency. Notable performers include junior Solomon Mcfarlane, with 17 points per game and five assists per game, senior Renato Ruiz with 12 points per game and junior Sean Jones, with 10 blocks per game.

Ice Hockey

The ice hockey team has been hit significantly hard this season by COVID-19. With the pandemic affecting how the team runs as a program, not only has Coach Michael Usan been unable to host regular frequent practices, but the squad has also had their regular season postponed. Being a winter sport, their schedule was initially planned to begin in November, but due to their opponent teams having positive Covid tests, and overall rising cases in Broward County, the team had all their games pushed back into January, making this winter sport partially extended into the spring.

“Covid has really affected our quality as a team. It’s messed up our organization in the fact that our practices are way more spread out, which not only causes us to be out of practice at times but it has also affected the team’s chemistry since we don’t see each other as much now,” senior Spencer Rathe said. “I’ve had to give up going to school and reuniting with friends I haven’t seen in while because of the season, which was a huge trade-off for me personally, especially since it’s my last year.”

The Patriots have only played a total of three games this season so far, having a record of 1-2. They defeated Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with all goals coming from American Heritage Boca Delray juniorMichael McCoy. There haven’t been any shutouts from the goalkeepers in the season thus far, but there have been notable performances from players such as juniors centers Alexander Saviskas and top-scorer Michael McCoy.

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