Boys soccer team strives for improvement


Megan Evans/FHS Press

Charging after the ball, junior Austin Tokar tries to advance the ball up the field on Aug. 28 against Chartiers Houston.

Megan Evans, Copy Editor

It’s that time of year again when summer comes to an end and fall sports take their stride. The boys soccer team started preparing for the oncoming season in July. A new school year means a new beginning, just as this season is for the boys. 

The team lost alumni Garrett Paxton, Micheal Castaneda-Sanchez, Colton Heasley and Keith Pawlowski. The boys had to work hard to step up and fill the roles, with nine new freshmen also joining the team. 

There are four seniors: Joseph Hartle, Kinsley Aswani, Caleb Falk and Jay Hessler. Senior Joe Hartle and junior Luke Snavely are serving as team captains. 

“My outlook is to make the playoffs this year, I think the team has really good potential, and we just need to play our games and play good,” Hartle said. 

The team had a switch-up with coaching. Philip Pawlowski stepped up as head coach after coach Collin Williams retired. Matt Purtell was hired as the new assistant coach. 

“Coach Matt is a dawg. The new coach is very energetic, and he brings a lot of light to the team,” sophomore James Couch said. 

To prepare for the season, the boys attended a week-long “camp” of conditioning and training from Aug. 16 through Aug. 19. 

“I would say that camp brought the team closer together. Camp this year wasn’t bad because we had been practicing most of the summer and were preparing ourselves for camp,” junior Austin Tokar said. 

On Aug. 23, the boys played their first scrimmage against the Riverside Panthers on the Panther’s home field. Although the game does not count on the section record, the boys still played as if it did.The final score was a tie at 2-2. This game was a good learning experience and set the boys up for future games. 

“The first game, our defense was pretty solid, we just need to make sure we’re communicating and keeping well. And we need to get some stuff going on offense and score some goals,” Hartle said. 

On Aug. 28, the boys faced Chartiers Houston for a scrimmage on the home field. The team came together and scored a total of eight goals. The final score was 8-2; two of the goals were scored by Hessler. 

“And for the Charters Houston [game], we were pretty good at communicating and connecting, passing and setting up each other,” Couch said. 

On Sept. 7, the boys played their first section game against Quaker Valley on Freedom’s home field. They lost with a final score of 11-0. They worked very hard on the field, though their efforts did not pull through. 

“Not really much to say about the result, they are a quality team,” Head Coach Philip Pawlowski said concerning the opponent. 

On Sept. 9, the boys traveled to Mohawk to face them for an exhibition game. The team worked together and won with a final score of 6-0.  

On Sept. 13, they faced Ellwood City on the home field. The boys dominated the field and finished with a score of 11-0. 

On Sept. 15, they faced Ambridge on the Bridger’s home field. The final score was a 6-2 loss. 

The boys look forward to the rest of the season and hope to advance into the playoffs.