JV Boys Soccer Brings Unique Style

With Taft Day on the horizon, the JV Boys Soccer team plans to come away with a win.
Having graduated ten Seniors last year, the team is in a rebuilding phase, looking to build the foundation for a strong and competitive team that plays to its strengths and employs its new talents. Co-captain Michael Zhang ’21 said, “We have a very young team this year. Almost all of our starting lineup last year were Seniors, [and this year] we only have one Senior.”
The team has a different style than most high school soccer teams. While most schools play with a flat 4-4-2 formation, the JV Boys soccer team plays with a 4-3-3 formation. Zhang said, “We have a very attacking style: we emphasize the importance of the fullbacks getting up the field and joining the attack through overlapping runs and give-and-gos. We play a 4-3-3, to spread the field and add dynamism to our attack. The challenge with this formation is that it leaves us open to counter-attacks when on the turn, so our defensive midfielder and center-backs have to be very alert.”
Integrating new players into the team’s unique style is a challenge. Since most of the team is new, the captains and coaches have worked to make sure that everyone is comfortable playing in their position.
Other challenges that the team is addressing include building team unity and minimizing distractions. Head Coach Brant Hadzima said, “Our two biggest challenges are that we struggled initially to bond as a unit, and we also struggle to keep our focus. We’ve seen tremendous growth, though, and we are looking forward to a competitive game on Taft day.”
The captains have taken the initiative to ensure that the team feels bonded and is able to play as one. The team often goes on group runs around Racetrack Road, and often has team dinners or breakfasts after practice and on game days. These activities have helped new players feel welcomed and have ultimately allowed the players to play better together.
The team is constantly changing lineups and practices as the season continues. Hadzima said, “I’d like our players to be more flexible in their positions, as they are still learning their strengths. This year, we’ve tried different combinations on the field, and our starting 11 was never set in stone.”
The Boys JV Soccer team looks to defeat Taft on November 9 at home in its last game of the season.