After a grueling tie and a hard-fought win in their first two games, the Stuyvesant boys’ soccer team dragged itself onto the field Tuesday, September 16 against AP Randolph High School. The team gained a quick lead, scoring eight goals in the first half, and cruised to a landslide 13-0 victory. Yet with their next game against the top-ranked and undefeated Beacon High School looming only two days later, the Ballerz immediately began planning for the big matchup.
The team came into this season with high hopes. Although they lost four key seniors last year, there is some promising young talent in the sophomores and juniors. “With the number of underclassmen receiving strong [playing time] last year, and with the experience of three playoff games, I believe that we are better positioned to succeed this year than last year,” coach Adam Goldstein said.
Beacon and Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) are the Ballerz’s fiercest competition each year. MLK sports a top five ranking in the country, as well as a defending PSAL championship title. Beacon is the only undefeated team left in Manhattan A, the toughest Public School Athletics League (PSAL) division. This year, Stuyvesant is hoping to break its losing streak against these two teams. “Most of the players believe that we have an opportunity to press Beacon and MLK in an effort to compete for the PSAL title,” Goldstein said.
Although their 1-0 loss in Thursday’s game against Beacon was a letdown, the team was even more disappointed by their tie to Julia Richman Education Complex in their first game of the season on Tuesday, September 9. This was a team that the Ballerz easily beat in the past, but they did not perform to the best of their ability that day. “We didn’t play our best game. Our forward line can be improved and all we need to do is execute,” sophomore forward Oluwatobi Idowu said. In that game the team recorded only seven shots on goal, and only three in the Beacon game.
The Ballerz are hoping to learn from the Beacon loss, as to not make the same mistakes in their upcoming game against MLK on Friday, October 10. “We gained a lot from our loss to Beacon, where we matched them for effort and attitude, but fell just short on execution,” Goldstein said. The two teams will square off once again on Tuesday, October 14, at Central Park’s North Meadow.
Save for their route against AP Randolph, the Ballerz have fought hard in extremely close games, proving that this season could be an uphill battle. There will be no easy games for the varsity soccer team this season, and to achieve their goal of beating their two biggest rivals in the playoffs, they have to work for it.
“Like all teams we are hoping to win a championship, but it will be a very tough journey,” Idowu said.