After Recent Win, Men’s Soccer Hopes to Strengthen Skills for Last Games

The men’s varsity soccer team gathers on the high school field. Photo by Simon Kessler.

The GDS men’s varsity soccer team won a game against Sidwell Friends on Oct. 18 by a score of 2–1. The team also won their previous game against Sidwell.

Currently, the GDS team is fifth in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC) standings, with Maret, Potomac, St. Andrew’s and Sidwell ranked above. The team has a MAC record of 3–5–3 and an overall record of 4–6–3. 

Only eight minutes into the first half of the game against Sidwell, both a GDS player and the Sidwell goalie fell and the Sidwell goalie had to be helped off the field. The foul resulted in a penalty in the 18 yard box. GDS received a penalty kick and scored, which notched the first point of the game. In the twenty-third minute, Sidwell scored a goal that bounced off the goalpost and into the net. The game remained tied, until, with nine minutes left in the first half, senior Aidan Fine scored. 

In the second half of the game, the score stayed at 2–1. GDS players started shooting more often, regardless of their distance from the goal. In the fourteenth minute, GDS was awarded another penalty kick, which Fine shot into the corner of the net, but the ball was saved by Sidwell’s goalie.

With 13 minutes left in the game, Fine and one of Sidwell’s players had to be separated after an altercation on the field. After the game, Fine said that the Sidwell player “was roughing up our players the whole game” and that the player hit him in the back as he was going out of bounds. Fine said that he “wanted to let him know to watch himself and not do that again.” Towards the end of the game, players on both sides continued to be aggressive in their playing. Players used their bodies to block each other and played with a lot of energy.

The GDS team had a rough start to the season due to injured and sick players. Senior Kofi Pobee, the team’s goalie, said he thought that the team had a mediocre first few games. He said that the team has played strongly during some games and not as well during others this season. 

Despite the slow start, Assistant Principal for School Life and head coach Quinn Killy said that everybody on the team is “working hard” no matter their playing time. He added that “they are just giving everything they’ve got” and the players “have each other’s backs.”

Junior Rand Poellnitz said that seniors Roshan Natarajan and Peter Harris, the team captains, are “great leaders,” and that overall, the team works very well together. Freshman Ares Osorio said that the team has “a very welcoming environment” and that he felt that the older players had been supportive of him and the other new players. 

After the win against Sidwell, Fine said that he thought he played well throughout the game “but could have worked a little harder.” He added that the team should work on playing “smarter” in its remaining few games. 

Pobee agreed with Fine, adding that the team should work on improving communication on and off the field. However, Pobee said he was still very confident in the team’s ability. “We’re simply better,” Pobee said when asked why the team beat Sidwell.  

Looking forward, junior Christian Charles said that the team needs to work on its fundamentals, such as passing and dribbling. He added that Killy has told the team to play more simply and to not “try to do anything fancy.” Poellnitz also said that the team sometimes does not play with as much effort as it could. 

Charles said he thinks that the team’s chances to win the MAC championship are good despite its fifth seed ranking because the team has a lot of good players who have potential to improve in the last few games.