Lower Merion taking it one game at a time

When you enter the season with a roster comprised mainly of underclassmen sprinkled in amongst a few seniors with extensive playing experience like the Lower Merion High School boys’ soccer program did this fall, then senior leadership becomes extremely critical.

In a season that has been filled with peaks and valleys, the seniors have played the steadying force coach Nicholas Severini and the younger players have needed.

“It is always important to have strong leaders,’ Severini, now in his fifth season said, “Leaders can be from any class, but they typically emerge from the seniors that you have. We are a young team, but have seniors that are leading the team in their play, positive attitude, mentorship, and overall leadership. We are also expecting all the juniors and other younger players to learn quickly, emulate their seniors, and to be leaders as well.’

Junior Anthony Haines said, “Our senior leaders this year learned from the best last year in Daniel Buckman, David Baer and Will Rosenbaum [who started in goal as a junior]. Younger kids have a tendency to get down on themselves, but the seniors have been very supportive bringing the whole team up and keeping things positive.’

Following a successful campaign last fall that featured a streak of 12 consecutive shutouts, the Aces have endured adversity but have stuck together as a team to overcome and achieve success. One method the coaches have preached is to remain level and not get too high on a win or get to low on a loss.

“Coach Severini has been preaching this lesson all year,’ said senior Greg Kastein. “We have to treat each result the same and take things one game at a time. We can’t let a big win or tough loss affect the rest of the season.’

Over the past two weeks the Aces experienced highs and lows, as they registered a thrilling 1-0 overtime win against Strath Haven when senior defender Gian-Luca Hail took the opening tap in overtime and struck a perfect ball over the outstretched hands of the keeper for the game-winner.

Following that contest, Penncrest was able to capitalize on some opportunities and hand the Aces a difficult loss. Having a close-knit team, Severini was hoping to see his team bounce back Sept. 20 against a well-disciplined Marple Newtown team.

After taking a 2-1 lead into halftime, Lower Merion came out of the break and showed their resiliency, striking four times over a period of 17 minutes to break open a close game and post the win.

Kastein said, “The win over Marple was extremely critical. It was important to bounce back and show our resiliency and that we are capable of winning.’

Haines, who scored twice against Marple Newtown, said, “We just have to keep our expectations in check and do what we need to do to grind out wins.’

Severini said, “It is always important to bounce back from defeat in terms of the way you perform. Regardless of the result, the way you come back and play, the way you pick yourself up, and the way you keep moving forward shows your character and willingness to try your best.’

The Aces know the road will not be easy this season, but as long as the seniors continue to lead and the underclassmen continue to learn, the future looks bright.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply