Salesianum Review

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Start of a New Sals Soccer Season

Nicholas O’Haire, Matthew Riley, and Keegan Walpole, Staff Writers

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The reigning boys soccer state champs are back on the field in search of their ninth straight state championship. Led by seniors Casey Kurlej, Emmett McCloskey, and Jason Dauerty, the Sals look very strong this season, and continue to dominate the competition. Originally ranked 6th in the nation, the Sals have dropped to 13th after tough losses to #1, St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ), and #6, Marquette University High (WI). The Sals look to bounce back against Milton Wright High School (MD).

After rapid, decisive wins over instate and out of state teams, Lancaster Mennonite, Walter Johnson, Caravel, and St. Augustine Prep, the Salesianum soccer team flew to Burlington, Iowa to face off against some of the nation’s best. Their first game against Marquette University HS ended in a tough overtime loss, with a score of 4-3. However, the Sals overcame obstacles and outscored Blue Valley Southwest HS with a score of  3-1 the following day. Entering their final day of play, the Sals didn’t take their opponent lightly. They were motivated to beat Cherry Creek High School and end the trip on a solid note. The Sals won 3-0 and began their journey home the next day.

After a day of rest, Sals began their preparation week for the #1 team in the nation, St. Benedict’s Prep. The team concentrated on the minor flaws in their game, improving every day of practice. In addition, the team conditioned daily to improve their endurance. With the game inching closer, the Sals were confident with their progress. Sunday arrived and the Sals travelled to the University of Delaware to warm up before their toughest game of the year. A large crowd of their fellow Salesian brothers also travelled to Newark to watch the game. The starting lineup consisted of goalkeeper Emmet McCloskey; defenders Thomas McGrail, Jason Daugherty, Ryan Porrini, and Ethan Lupichuk; midfielders Ben Strine, Jack Leonard, Nate Pilson, Colton Steele; and forwards Casey Kurlej and Drew Blackwell. The team looked strong in the first half but ultimately trailed 1-0. During the second half, the Sals couldn’t capitalize on opportunities and struggled to find the net. The Sals lost, 3-0, but considered the game a progressive step, as they would soon prepare for Appoquinimink HS (DE) and Milton Wright HS (MD).

The Sals looked to bounce back from last week’s tough loss in search of a “W” against Appoquinimink. The Sals, determined to win, defeated the state’s runner-up with a swift victory of  3-1. Following this victory, the team had several days before facing their next opponent, Milton Wright. The Sals practiced on-ball defense, as well as precise passing. Wednesday evening, the team fired on all cylinders, proving victorious at 4-0. On Thursday, the team looks to continue their win-streak against long-standing rival St. Marks. With their tremendous efforts throughout the season, sophomores such as Callaghan Walsh, Keegan Walpole, and Ethan Hinds, as well as juniors Bradley DiGiuseppe, Nick Balbierer, Alex Whittaker, Ryan Becker, Michael Graham, and Brian Burg will potentially receive a large amount of playing time in Thursday’s game. Will the team reach the State Championship again?

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Start of a New Sals Soccer Season