Boys Soccer Team Ends First Season with Success


Sammy Smith

The boys soccer team’s success could be contributed to the fact that many of them had played soccer together since elementary school.

Sammy Smith, Staff Reporter

Beginner’s luck? Absolutely not.

Even as a brand new team, the Great Crossing boys soccer team opened the history books with a bang, showing talent, grit, and teamwork to create an excellent first season. The season ended with a record of 14 wins, 3 losses and 3 draws. 

Head Coach Nick Maxwell said, “I think most of the guys would agree that if we went back on the season and got to replay it, there’s a couple of things we would’ve changed.” Although putting up phenomenal performances, the team was constantly looking to improve. “One thing is general consistency.” Maxwell said, “there were some matches that we didn’t show up. We were a little slow, a little sluggish.” 

The team didn’t allow many goals this season. They were tied for 6th in the state for fewest goals allowed, but the team continues to look for improvement. “We can always improve defensively, but there’s still 13 goals that were allowed, that’s something we can always fix,” said Maxwell.

The Warhawks generated some amazing moments during their first ever season of play. Coach Maxwell recalled his favorite moment from the season: the district final game where the team was forced to play with ten players due to an ejection during the match. “That opportunity to play a man down and still come out with the victory after the PK (penalty-kick) shootout, that’s something, not only myself, but the guys will remember for quite a while.” They won the district championship against Frankfort 4-3 in penalties after an action-packed game tied 3-3 at the end of extra time. Warhawks were able to equalize the scoreline with just 37.1 seconds remaining in regulation time. 

Senior Trace Darnell was injured for a majority of the early season which negated his play time, but he was able to come back strong towards the end of the season to play in the final few games and made several appearances in postseason play. Darnell said his favorite moment was “probably senior night. My trainer took off my (playing) limits and I played most of the game.”

Thomas Disney, a senior defender, described his best moment from this season’s play: a goal from a direct free-kick from 30 yards in the regional quarterfinals which equaled the scoreline at 1-1. “I made a mistake the play before and (Douglass) scored. So I shot the free-kick” Disney said. This isn’t the first instance of the Warhawks success from a Disney free-kick; in fact, he collected five assists from his deliveries this season.

These two seniors only make up a small portion of the senior presence on this year’s team. With a fifty percent of the squad being seniors, the team will lose a majority of their squad after this season and have to find new talent to fill the gaps, but the rest of the squad and the coaching staff has faith in the rest of the squad’s ability and in welcoming new players to the team.

Coach Maxwell mentioned that the biggest thing about the senior guys was “the fact they are so tied in to each other. Tied in as a unit that would literally do anything for the other person… they were there for each other. That is the biggest thing that I hope the younger guys learn.” This group of seniors was a special one, many of them being friends, one might even say brothers, for a long time.

 Most of them met in elementary or middle school, building the chemistry and bond that shows on the field. “They embraced the younger players,” Maxwell said, “Every single senior took them under the wing, made connections with them, made the younger guys feel like part of the squad. That speaks bounds above their soccer ability, but their character.” 

Despite the team’s exit from postseason play from a loss in the regional finals, this year’s team has demonstrated a bar-setting level of play for future squads. The team is eager to come back stronger than ever, which can be attributed to an inspiring first season of play that set the bar for years to come.