Boys Thirds Soccer Plays Smart

Despite the fickle weather, the Boys Thirds Soccer team has proved itself early on in the season.
Winning four games against Berkshire, Forman, Salisbury, and Rumsey Hall, the team has been thriving since the start of the season. Losing just one game last year, Boys Thirds Soccer expects to maintain another strong record this season, as it continues to improve its level of play.
Both Head Coach Abdoulaye Fall and the players on the team attribute their success to the way the players work together on and off the field. By getting to know each other and making strong connections, players develop their strengths as one unit. Will Finch ’20 said, “It always helps to be close as a team. It helps us play better and get over our mistakes faster. There’s still a lot to do to get even closer, but we already have a great team dynamic.”
With eight new players on the team this year, the fourteen returners are making an effort to integrate new players to the existing Thirds Soccer family by working together on the field and getting to know each other outside of practice. The annual dinner, hosted by Coach Fall, is a highly anticipated event that players enjoy and bond over each year.
The team’s philosophy is centered on having fun, working well together, and improving over time. New players have already made a great deal of progress and have contributed to the team’s success in the past few games. Head Coach Fall said, “Some of the players who joined us at the beginning of the season had never played soccer. [Assistant] Coach [Jarrod] Sisk and I really enjoy seeing them progress over the course of the season, and as a coach the process is really rewarding.”
Coaches Fall and Sisk have developed a system for practices that ensures progression will happen through the season. By starting the season with a full week of conditioning before even touching a soccer ball, the players quickly built the stamina and endurance necessary to maintain a high level of play throughout the course of each game.
The coaches place a heavy emphasis on developing technical abilities, ball control, dribbling, and moving with the ball. The team also practices with small field scrimmages to help players get open, use space, and be mindful. Reflecting on his players’ mindsets, Coach Fall said, “Soccer is a game where you can really see other people’s personalities. If you are generous and willing to share, you play better. The more you share, the better the team does.”
Strong leadership from the Seniors plays a major role in the team’s success as well. With ten Seniors originally on the team, Coach Fall and Coach Sisk had to limit the number of Seniors at the start of the season to provide opportunities for lowerclass students who wanted to try soccer.
However, the Seniors still have a major impact on the team as prominent role models for the lowerclass students. Coach Fall said, “We [can] always count on the Seniors to set a good tone for the team. Having Seniors on the team is great, because they create [a] positive dynamic that everyone will follow, and this has been the case for many years.”
The Boys Thirds Soccer team will face Deerfield tomorrow on October 12 at home. They hope to build upon their 4-1 record.