Soccer team seeks third straight regional win


Hannah Kopek

Sophomore Berto Centeno steals the ball from the Romeoville player in their 1-0 victory on Oct. 9.

Hannah Darbro, Fielder Friday Editor

Although they aren’t yet aware who they will be facing in the tournament, the team is optimistic that they will be able to take the regional title again this year.
“I’m looking more towards regionals and trying to win regionals for a third straight year,” Hunter Fuss, senior, said.
The team realizes that securing another regional win will be challenging, but by no means impossible.
“The regional will be tough as always in our sectional, but if we play our game, and play hard and smart, we have a good chance,” Kevin Fitzgerald, coach, said.
The team has been focused on staying positive and improving basic maneuvers as they prepare for upcoming games.
“At the end of the day we just want to get each individual better as a soccer player while trying to get a winning record, and to see if we can win regionals again because we won it the last two years. We’re always shooting for conference wins,” Shane Franzen, senior, said.
The players say they have come long way from the games at the beginning of the season, where they frequently played teams that ranked in the top five in the state.
“With our schedule, we really have been pitted against some of the top teams and we are just trying to stay positive and keep a good attitude. We just really want to challenge ourselves by facing the best teams around,” Franzen said.
The team spends practices improving fundamental skills and running certain drills that will help them succeed during games.
“We do a lot of 1v1 defense. Our coach will put us in a square, and whoever wins the ball is offense, the other is defense,” Noah Selefski, junior, said.
Even though the team does not currently have a winning record, they see upcoming games as a chance to utilize skills they have been working on in practice as they continue to play other talented teams in the conference.
“Both of the Oswego teams are very good and they’ll give us a challenge,” Fuss said.
Many of the team members spend time together after practice and games, which contributes to their unity on the field.
“We hang out outside of soccer too. We do team bonding and go out to eat together,” Zach Prah, senior, said.
For most of the wildcats, soccer has long been a part of their lives. Some had even been on the same team prior to high school.
“We’ve known each other for a while,” Fuss said.
“We grew up with each other, playing together. A lot of us played together in middle school or at clubs,” Prah said.
Many of the varsity players are seniors, playing for their last high school season.
“I’ve [been playing] since I was little and for me, especially in my last year, it’s partly about winning and seeing what we can accomplish as seniors. But now I have all these friendships, I’ve been with the same friends for years and I’m just excited to be playing with them for my last year,” Franzen said.
Their next conference game is against Plainfield South at home on Oct. 18.