Boys soccer is off to a strong start after a disappointing season

Jacob Klionsky

After a disappointingly early exit in both the MCAL and NCS playoffs last year, the boys’ varsity soccer team is looking to rebound this season, using the team’s experience and chemistry as a way to gain an edge over their opponents.

Senior co-captain Eamon Rogan, a four-year varsity player, has gained insight over his high school career on what makes a team successful. Already, Rogan can tell that the team’s chemistry, built throughout last season, will push the Giants deep into the MCAL and NCS playoffs.

Eamon Rogan crosses the ball in a 1-0 victory of Drake
Eamon Rogan crosses the ball in a 1-0 victory of Drake

“Because we had a lot of younger players on the team last year, we hadn’t played together as much. So after having last season under our belt and going forward, we have played with each other a lot more and our team chemistry has definitely improved,” Rogan said.

Coach David Siracusa believes that this year’s team has really connected, played well together, and will thrive in MCALs. Last year, on the other hand, was an odd situation from the very start, according to Siracusa.

“I got hired late [last year]. I came on and they didn’t even know who I was,” Siracusa said. “They had to try to figure out not only varsity high school soccer, but a new coach as well.”

This year, the players have been able to use last season’s experiences as a tool to learn and to be able to compete at a higher level.

“All of our [current] seniors were pretty much the biggest part of our team last year, so now they’re mature, experienced, making the right decisions and are leading our team,” Siracusa said.

Junior Justin Neustaetter chucks the ball in a Redwood throw-in
Junior Justin Neustaetter chucks the ball in a Redwood throw-in

However, the team has already lost a few key players to injuries such as junior Cole Hardister and sophomore twins Adam Zolezzi and Eric Zollezi. Despite these absences, Redwood has started the season on a six-game winning streak, including victories over Tam and Drake, both of whom they lost to last year in the regular season.

According to Rogan, the depth of this year’s team will be a key component to success.

“It hurts to lose players to injury, especially this early in the season. Yet we have shown that we can step up and replace them,” Rogan said.

Senior co-captain Brian Diaz has been on varsity for three years and believes that this team’s balance sets them apart from his previous teams.

“The mentality is different. It’s not like other seasons where we had one main person doing all the work. I think everyone is contributing to the success of this team,” Diaz said.

The Giants look to continue their winning streak on Dec. 16th at Terra Linda.