Varsity Boys’ Soccer Tramples McNeil in 4-0 Rout

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  • Anthony Bibbo ’20 heads the ball into the air. Bibbo passed the ball to teammate Cesar Frias ’20.

  • Cesar Frias ’20 slides in to steal the ball from a McNeil player. Frias passed the ball to a teammate.

  • Niko Djordjevic ’21 kicks the ball downfield towards his teammates. Djordjevic scored three out of the four goals in the game.

  • With opposing player closing in, Patrick Cotey ’23 dribbles the ball downfield. Cotey was able to successfully advance and pass the ball to a teammate.

  • Taking possession of the ball, Philip Richardson ’20 fights off a McNeil Maverick. Richardson advanced the ball and made a successful pass.

  • With Mavericks near by, Theo Givens ’20 dribbles the ball around opposing players. givens was able to advance upfield before passing to a teammate.

  • Tom Gentot ’20 dribbles the ball upfield with an opponent close behind. Gentot passed the ball to teammate Cesar Frias ’20.

  • Diego Djordjevic ’22 kicks the ball downfield towards his teammates. Djordjevic’s pass was successful with an attempted goal.

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After recovering from a shaky start in district play, the varsity boys’ soccer team used the home field to their advantage to close out their third consecutive win, scoring four goals on the McNeil Mavericks to grab a 4-0 district victory on Friday, Jan. 24. Niko Djordjevic ‘21 had a highlight performance, completing a hat trick, while Louis Niemerg ‘21 added a goal as well. Impeccable defending by seniors Philip Richardson, West Bevins, and John Mock ensured a third consecutive clean sheet for goalie Justin Lang ‘20.

“Our back line is getting really good,” Mock said. “They had one pretty good striker and we were able to shut him down, he couldn’t do anything. We got a lot of kids off the bench to play today, so it was a really good game.”

The Warriors displayed their strongest start to a game in recent memory, scoring three goals in just the first eight minutes of action. It took a mere two minutes for the home team to find the back of the net for the first time, after a pass from newcomer Kawan Borba ‘23 led to a powerful Niemerg shot from the left side. Not a minute later, Djordjevic was fouled inside the box by a McNeil defender, granting him a penalty. Recovering from his penalty hiccup against Hendrickson in the district opener, Djordjevic scored with ease, placing his kick in the bottom left corner. The third and final goal of the half came five minutes later; Theo Givens ‘20 used superb speed and ball handling to dribble past five McNeil defenders, and dumped the ball wide to Djordjevic, who scored his second goal of the night.

“[The first half] was possibly one of the best starts to a game we’ve ever had,” head coach Stefano Salerno said. “We had the right intensity from the very beginning and executed on some technical things we’ve been working on.”

In the second half, the Warriors found their momentum slightly diminished but were still able to create concrete chances. Diego Djordjevic ‘22, Givens, and Tom Gentot ‘20 all had at least one shot on target in the half. N. Djordjevic completed his hat trick in the twelfth minute of the second half, assisted by a long pass from midfield. The rest of the game remained mostly static, leading to jubilation for the home fans as the final whistle blew.

“In the second half, I think it was a lot better for us as much as being able to control the game and then finding space on the counter against them,” Coach Salerno said. “McNeil was a very organized team, and we’re very fortunate to end this game with another three-zero goal differential.”

After their win on Friday night, the Warriors find themselves back at the top of the district table, a position they will hope to maintain as the season progresses. The boys will return to the field next Friday, Jan. 31 against the Vandegrift Vipers after a bye on Tuesday.