The Guerin boys soccer team achieved its goal of reaching the regional championship this season, but with six graduating players, the Gators will need returning players to step into leadership roles.
Junior Liam Egan and sophomore Yosif Lima are ready to take on the challenge, but each in his own way.
Egan is Guerin’s left outside back. He marks opposing forwards and uses his voice to organize the entire defense.
“Liam is just so aggressive, he commands the defense basically,” said sophomore Randy Gohmann, the team’s sweeper. “He’s really vocal. We actually make fun of him for yelling ‘Good’ after every nice play someone makes.”
Lima, who plays in the midfield on the left wing, is more soft-spoken, choosing to lead his teammates with his play.
“Yosif puts things in motion,” said Gohmann. “He just starts the passing and the crossing, and that’s how we score most goals.”
The Gators showed improvement throughout the season in possessing the ball and stringing together multiple passes, but the players know that they can still get better.
“In the beginning of the season our passing was off,” said Lima. “But that’s where we improved the most (in the regional), and why we won the two games.”
Lima’s ability to use his speed to push the ball past defenders into dangerous positions was a big part of that success as well. He scored the Gators’ lone goal in regulation in the first regional match with Roycemore, and then had an assist in the semifinal against North Shore Country Day.
Defensively, the Gators have experienced players returning, but coach Roberto Cianci wants to see improvement from Egan heading into his senior year.
“He’s already a solid marking defender,” said Cianci. “I just want him to learn to defend more and to play stronger. Another year to become more physical and to continue developing his touch.”
“We are losing our goalie and most of our offense,” said Egan. “We will need to step up as a defense.”
The Gators will have to replace several starters, but Egan and Lima will be among the 12 upperclassmen returning next season with the experience of getting to a regional championship game two years in a row.
“The seniors I asked to make a mark,” said Cianci. “We played for a regional final, which was one of our goals.
“The sophomores and juniors are still young, but we have them in key places on the field,” he said. “We want to make this a norm, where we’re playing for a regional final every year.”
Originally posted on 10/22/13.
By Jakub Rudnik