As the final buzzer sounded, the Bobcats knew they had got their mojo back. They were ready to take on the rest of the season as they continued the hunt for back-to-back state titles.
The Oyster River High School boys’ soccer team beat Trinity High School (2-8) 3-0 on Monday, improving their record to 8-1-1. After losing their last home game, a change in the team’s mentality as well as hard work at practice has put the boys back on track for their championship aspirations.
A huge mentality shift took place after the Bobcats lost their last home game to Kingswood on September 19th. Tommy Aldrich (‘25), a defender on the team, noted, “We were cocky before, not as dialed in as we needed to be. We thought we were better than everybody else.”
The change in attitude also translated to practice, with coaches and players alike working harder. “We did a bunch of burpees and really put effort into practice,” Aldrich said.
Corey Handwork (25’) a Captain on the team said regarding a mentality change in practice “Yeah, they were, coach had a whole new approach at practice. He made sure everything was perfect and held us to a much higher standard than he has all season.”
However, the mentality change didn’t stop with practice according to Handwork “The loss was a good wakeup call, we needed someone to show us we weren’t as good as we think we are. There are guys on the team who think we are better than we are, and this (the loss) was a good punch in the gut to reset and show us there’s still stuff we need to work on.”
The game started off with a bang, as Wilson Kim (‘25) sneaked a header past the goalkeeper only nine minutes into the first half. Camden Tucker (‘24) assisted Kim’s third goal of the season on a high arching corner kick. When asked what he thought the offense did well during the game, Kim said, “I thought we possessed the ball really well, we probably had about 80% possession during the game, which leads to a good offensive game.”
The game stayed 1-0 until right before the half time break, as senior Cam Monnette tapped one in to make it 2-0, cushioning Oyster River’s lead and leaving them with momentum going into half time. The third and final goal was scored by Captain John Vittorioso (,24). Vittorioso, who missed a penalty in the first half, scored on a skillful run that ended in a well-deserved goal for the star midfielder, solidifying a great home performance for the Bobcats.
On the other side of the ball, the Bobcats defense stood fast, as no goals were scored in Trinity’s favor. “We played defense well; our communication was key throughout the game, which helped our disciplined defending and secondary defending,” Jack Gill (‘25), a defenseman/midfielder, said.
As the Bobcats move forward with their season, they’ve got their eyes on the prize: another state championship. With their one-loss campaign going strong, this seems to be what’s on everybody’s mind.
“I think there’s no reason we don’t win the state chip’ this year.” said Kim confidently. “It’s ours to win if we stay level-headed and work hard in practice.”
On Saturday at 2:30 the boys are at Pelham (3-7)
Images Courtesy of Ana Clara Figueiredo