Boys soccer ready to soar

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After three consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs, the Townsend Harris boys soccer team is taking big steps to end the Fall 2013 season with a playoff run. According to fourth-year coach Matthew Curiale, making the playoffs is the team’s “ultimate goal.”

Thirteen members from last year’s team have graduated. These losses call for returning players to take increased roles. Two such players are seniors Mateusz Chrobak and Daniel Yacar, the new co-captains.

Mateusz described his job as captain, saying, “It is my job to lead by example and to encourage my teammates.”  Daniel plans to lead by being “vocal and positive on the field.” He added, “Criticism is always good; it just has to be done in a positive manner.”

According to Daniel, last season’s record (two wins, ten losses, and two ties) is “a very poor” reflection on how the team plays.  “We out played many teams and could have easily had a .500 season,” he said, attributing the record to not being able “to open up and close games.”

The team began preparing for the upcoming season in mid-August by practicing regularly at Kissena Park. Coach Curiale believes that the weeks of practice will have the team “fit and ready to play” come the start of the regular season and is impressed with the team’s “motivation and love for the game.”

Senior Christian Castro said, “I think our team is getting in some pretty good practices. We’ve been working on our weaknesses and on improving our chemistry.” Chemistry is something that Mateusz has emphasized because he wants the team to “come together and to practice, play, and win as one.”

“Creating bonds on and off the field is something that will help us immensely in the coming months,” said senior Joel Mampilly.

Daniel feels that if “everyone is on the same page tactically and everyone contributes to getting the team where it needs to be” that they can drastically improve on last year’s campaign.

Joel strongly believes the team has a strong chance for the playoffs, especially with the new intensity being brought to the field.

Christian agreed, saying that if they all practice hard enough, they will have what it takes to make it to the playoffs.

The Hawks kick off the regular season against Richmond Hill at home on September 9 at Kissena Corridor Park.