CRLS Soccer: High Hopes for Next Season

Boone Gross, Contributing Writer

On Saturday, November 6th, the Boys Varsity soccer team lost a bitter MIAA State tournament second-round match to three-seeded Newton North High School, which brought their  season to a rather disappointing close. The following is a recap of the 2021 season and a look ahead for the teams.

At the beginning of the season, both team’s coaches had similar expectations for their players: to work hard on and off the field. Girls soccer coach Megan Willete told the Register Forum, “The expectations at the beginning of the season are for players to have improved their technical skills and soccer IQ in the off-season, be in shape, and to be teammates.” Since being hired 3 years ago, Coach Willete has worked to “Shift the culture of the program where the players are friendly on and off the field, and want to work hard and play well for each other.” Willete’s efforts to change the culture seem to be working; however, this has yet to translate to on-the-field success, as a  3-14-1 record is anything but desirable. Despite increasing goal differential by 30 points in the last 3 years, the girls team still can’t seem to shake a recent span of sub .500 records, which stretches back to 2014. Initially injuries plagued the team, but the shaky start persisted all the way until the end of the year, when they began to pick up steam and put up a finishing form of 2-1-1 with a +7 goal differential. The end of the season performance is a positive sign for next year. 

With both teams finding success, as well as plenty of room to improve in one form or another, we look to next year, where both teams will lose a few seniors to graduation”

Meanwhile, the boys team was riding high coming off of their DCL championship campaign in 2020. They managed to stick to around .500 the whole season, and were rewarded for their efforts with a spot in the state tournament. As the 35 seed, pundit’s expectations were low. However, against tall odds they managed to knock off Braintree on the road 2-1. The magic would run out against Newton North in the following round though, as a 2-1 loss ended the boys season. Despite this, Coach Phillip Fousek was elated, telling the Register Forum, “We took the next step by winning a tournament game.” The win is made all the more impressive by the fact that an entire starting XI was wiped out last offseason due to graduation. At the start of the season it was a serious question if they could accrue a similar level of success in the state tournament as last season. Not only have they done that, they have gone even further. 

With both teams finding success, as well as plenty of room to improve in one form or another, we look to next year, where both teams will lose a few seniors to graduation; but also gain serious motivation, both to rise from the ashes of such a disappointing record for the girls team, and to continue the streak of success for the boys. As boys Captain Christopher Velez said, “Are we contenders or winners? That is the question Coach Fousek always asks us.” It’s clear that both teams’ mentalities are in the right place to have success next season.