Soccer climbs up the ladder once again

After a strong start to the season, the boys’ soccer team is confident that they can make it back to state


Jacoy Willis

Dribbling by his opponents, senior Thiago Marini looks to the far side of the field hoping to pass. The team dominated Stanwood 4-1 on Tuesday March 15. The match against Stanwood at the beginning of the season demostrated to KingCo that Inglemoor was a strength to be reckoned with.

Joey Matsuzawa, Sports Editor

The boys’ soccer team is hoping to build on the success of last season, when it placed first at KingCo and third at state. Despite the hard fought third place finish last year, many of the returning players were left feeling dissatisfied and look to this season to make amends.

“We were pretty disappointed,” senior captain Shay Sheller said. “We underperformed in the game that mattered the most.”

Players say that the team’s success was due to great team chemistry and a well balanced lineup.

“Last year we had a really balanced team in that not only did we have a super strong defense, but also had a really potent attack,” senior captain Abhinav Agnani said.

However, that balance and chemistry changed when 11 players graduated and others decided not to return. Senior and junior brothers Burke and Quinn Fahling, who were on the state team last year, were among those choosing not to return due to individual pursuits.

“Losing Burke and Quinn is a big loss,” Agnani said, “but I think we’ve got a lot of [strong] underclassmen.”

Despite losing the KingCo MVP, the team has believes that it has the necessary talent to fill the gap in the roster. These include players such as senior Jesus Ocampo and sophomore Keeane Speed. Returning players say that this year’s underclassmen share the passion and competitive drive that made last year’s team strong.

“The fight and the mentality is still there from last season,” senior captain Danny Neifert said. “There’s a bunch of talent that’s going to be on the bench, so if someone needs to sub out we’ll be fine.”   

Players say that the team’s chemistry has been improving each week, which was evident during a game with Juanita. Despite being down 2-1, the team was able to rally and claim a hard fought 3-2 victory over Juanita. Now, players are optimistic for the rest of the season. With a strong 2-1 record to start the season, the team looks to maintain its newfound momentum as well as its winning streak.

“We have a large sense of self-belief,” Agnani said. “After the first game we were pretty down, but because we were able to come back [during the Juanita game] it really increased our confidence.”  

With the team’s renewed confidence, the end goal of returning to state seems very realistic. To get back, the team will have to address threats in district rivals, Bothell and Woodinville, but players are confident they will repeat as KingCo champs and return to state.

“We know what it takes to get back,” Neifert said.