Conference champs put a stop to regional hopes

The boys soccer senior night was on Oct. 13. The game ended in a tie against West Aurora High School.

By Hector Cervantes, Perspectives Editor

After a second place finish in conference, boys soccer ended its season at regionals.

“We finished the season with Bartlett in regionals going double overtime. Our boys left it all out in the field and played with extreme pride and we are proud of them being able to play a tough team. I am extremely proud of their effort which is the main thing I would like to take away from the game,” head coach Jose Villa said.

Senior Josh Guercio notes how it was disappointing to lose regionals.

“It feels good that we were able to compete this year for conference and be able to come so close to taking first. It was disappointing though, knowing that we had the chance to clinch the conference championship on senior night but couldn’t come away with the win. (We) lost it by two points in the end to Bartlett who put a stop to our season by beating us in the regional semi-finals,” Guercio said.

Although, the team lost at regionals, the boys took home second place in conference.

“We tied second place with Bartlett (in conference) and our boys have been working hard which makes me proud,” Villa said.

Besides making regionals, another honor came to the team when Guercio was selected as an Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association All-Sectional Honorable Mention.

“I was about to leave school and I ran into my coach. I started talking to him for a little bit and he told me then and I was really surprised at the time because I hadn’t really heard anything about it from him or anyone else,” Guercio said.

The team improved their soccer skills by participating in different tournaments.

“We competed in the Pepsi Showdown, which is the largest soccer tournament in the country, and we finished with 3-1. We also competed in the Warrior Invite and ended up going undefeated in that tournament and had some good competition,” Villa said.

Villa’s philosophy with coaching comes from girls head coach Cesar Gomez.

“I learned (from Gomez) at the end of the day I am trying to teach the boys other things not just through soccer. My hope is that the boys learn something on or off the field. I am proud of the team by doing well academically and we raised a zero tolerance policy for failing grades and they responded really well to be eligible to play. My hope is that they continue to do well academically,” Villa said.

To strengthen for the upcoming soccer season, the boys will continue to work hard.

“Starting in December we will have our offseason program going in the weight room and field house. We will lift weights and do drills. We will be going to colleges and universities to see the teams play indoor soccer. Also, many boys play club soccer which is great for them to stay in shape,” Villa said.

The boys finished with a record of 8-9-6.