One Last Dance: 11 seniors, 4 juniors, 4 sophomores, 3 freshmen and one goal for victory

By Julian Burdess

Photo courtesy of Josport Josport
August 21st to November 1st, 72 days of passion, dedication, determination, happiness and sorrow. The Leman Boys Varsity Soccer team completed a season that can be summed up in two words “almost there”. From the Battery Park Ball Fields which face the looming Freedom Tower to the final of the ACIS Championship the journey of two months of hard work, would unfortunately be summed up in one ninety minute soccer match.
Spearheaded by Head Coach Khenti Amen, and Assistant Coach Andres, from the first minute of preseason to the final bus ride back from the State championships both coaches have relentlessly put their time and energy into improving the boys both as soccer players and as maturing men. Their boys were led by team captain and senior Giles Lewis playing his final season for the Leman. Our team was mainly composed of seniors who have all played for Leman Soccer from when they were young 6th graders in Global games all the way up to their senior years of high school. It was a last dance for all of the seniors on the team, including Giles Lewis, Jose Luis Parga, Xander Brown, Julian Burdess, Lucas Forwood, Giuliano Gamberale, Orland Paul, Mateo Torralba, Jake Yohn, Francesco Turchi and Donovan Turnacioglu.
Photo courtesy of Josport
Photo courtesy of Josport Josport
The season started off running with the Bulls achieving an undefeated record through 7 matches, which included 6-1 wins over both Packer and Staten Island Academy and a 5-0 win over Berkeley Carroll. The Bulls first defeat came in a narrow 2-3 loss to their eventual ACIS Finals opponent Dwight. However, the Bulls always bounced back from hardships and in this case, a 12-0 demolition of Brooklyn Friends on senior night which featured a starting 11 of only seniors for the Bulls was the perfect comeback. The formation employed by Coach Khenti for the majority of the season was the 4-2-3-1 which dominated the center of the park but left the wings more isolated and exposed when defending. This was especially significant in the Bulls most important and penultimate match of the season, a rematch against Dwight in the ACIS Finals the only team who defeated us in the regular season, during the first half the Bulls started very well pressuring Dwight's defense on a number of occasions. However, as Dwight grew into the match especially in the second half, the exposed left back of in the 4-2-3-1 system unfortunately was capitalized on as Dwight netted their first of three goals from a cross from the left flank. Defeating our Bulls 3-0, the result deeply affected all of the players in our team, however both Coach Khenti and Coach Andres reminded the team to carry ourselves maturely and graciously congratulate Dwight on their victory. The Bulls final match ended in a heartbreaking loss to Avenues on penalties in the first round of the New York State playoffs. Even though the Leman Varsity soccer team did not achieve their ultimate goal of bringing a title back to 1 Morris street the team is still very proud of how they played and fought in every single minute of the season. And to the departing seniors thank you for your service to the Leman Varsity Soccer team, younger classmen the stage is now yours.