Published on March 1st, 2017 | by Joseph Kean0
Boys soccer launches season past expectations
The Samo Vikings boys soccer team was a major success this year, reaching CIF playoffs for the first time under new head coach Joe Doyle. Unfortunately, they lost Tuesday, Feb. 22, against a tough Chino Hills High School team, but the team is overall happy with their season outcome.
“I am so proud of our guys for stepping up this season and am really happy with where I see this program going in the future. We have a lot of young talent and I trust them to do big things next year,” Luis Tamayo (’17) said.
The Vikings had some injuries early on, a significant one being when midfielder Ryan Lane (’19) went in for a tackle and broke his leg. This occurred during Samo’s first game against South Torrance High School, leaving Lane out for the rest of the season.
“It was a really hard thing for our team to overcome at first because everyone was so down, but eventually we found a way to use this as motivation,” captain Rico McGary (’17) said. “We always had carried a chip on our shoulder from that point on and left everything we had on the pitch.”
Samo did not start off the season as the strong team they ended, and in the beginning, Doyle’s ability to turn his team around was tested.
“Our defensive structure has really helped us not concede goals, and we’ve been really successful not conceding goals from open play,” Doyle said, “Ever since we’ve focused more on our defensive shape, and play with two holding midfielders instead of one, it has been helping us on the counter attack when we lose the ball.”
This season was a memorable one for Doyle and the rest of the team, as it was many players’ first time reaching CIF.
“There have been quite a few really memorable games, but the most memorable so far is probably our first league win against Hawthorne. We were losing 2-1 after going up 1-0 early on,” Doyle said. “Then we were able to score two goals late in the second half to win the game 3-2. That win sort of set the tone for league, especially with how it was won. That was also my first league win as a Varsity coach, so it meant a bit more as well.”
The Varsity boys soccer team is already preparing for next season and is definitely a team to watch out for in the future.