Boys varsity soccer team defeats the McLean Mustangs


Kaylah Goldrich, LT

Coach Kevin Gnatiko directs his players on the field. The Lions went on to win this game 8-1.

Kaylah Goldrich, Sports Editor

In keeping with their strong start to the regular season, the boys varsity soccer team defeated the McLean Mustangs 8-1 on Sept. 20, bringing their record against PVAC opponents to 3-1.

It seemed as though the Mustangs and Lions were evenly matched through the first couple of minutes of the game as no team was able to gain full possession of the ball. However, after an unusual goal where McLean’s goalie saved a shot but landed inside the net with the ball, the Lions went up 1-0. This seemingly energized the team as senior Seth Pearce scored just under a minute later, and senior Ari Platt quickly followed up with a goal of his own. 

“I think [the goalie’s blunder] just kind of made our morale go up. I guess we were just happier,” freshman Coby Schlactus said. “We felt at that point that we kind of just got to get through the rest of the game and we just played well from then on.”

The Lions finished the first half strong, leading the Mustangs 4-0. Coach Kevin Gnatiko said the main focus at halftime was switching up formations as he felt comfortable in the team’s lead. 

“I kind of like coached them how to play [in] that new formation,” Gnatiko said. “…It was for fun, no real reason, we just wanted to try something new.”

This approach paid off as senior Josh Einhorn, who usually starts as the Lions’ goalie, scored a goal in the second half. The Mustangs were able to push one goal across late in the game, but it really had no effect as the Lions went on to win 8-1. 

“We played pretty well, the guys moved the ball really quick and we finished our chances,” Gnatiko said.

Platt shared this sentiment, saying that despite still having some things to improve on, the Lions played very well.

“[The Mustangs are] definitely not the best team in the league, but [it was an] all-around good game,” Platt said. 

Because of the lead the team held throughout the game, Gnatiko was able to expand the roster a bit and put in players who do not typically get that much playing time. 

“Some of the guys that weren’t playing as much as before are getting more playing time now, and they’ll be knocking on the door,” Gnatiko said. “So right now, the whole team has been fighting their hardest.”

The Lions hope this game keeps up their momentum as they play Washington International School on Thursday, Sept. 22., but Gnatiko’s aspirations for this team extend beyond the next game.

“I want to win everything,” Gnatiko said. “I want to win the championship.”