Anne Marie Kreft
Following a strong season that landed them in the state tournament last year, the Weston Boys Varsity Soccer team has wrapped up another season that ended with their defeat to Newburyport in the playoffs. However, this year, a particularly large number of strong senior players in the starting line has united the team to many victories.
Senior captain and midfielder Adrian Hadley said that the strong relationships between these core senior players is a main factor in the team’s success.
“When we play together, there’s not a single team in the whole state who can beat us. We all have such a good relationship with each other that everyone has something to say and everyone is a leader,” Hadley said.
Senior Michael Delduchetto summed up the close connections that he has had with his teammates.
“It’s been special being a part of a senior-heavy team and a group of guys that have been playing soccer together for over six years,” Delduchetto said. “Although we have had some ups and downs as a team, I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to grow up with playing the game we love.”
Having coached the starting players for the past four years, assistant coach Moncrieff Cochran commented on the seniors’ impact on the team.
“We have 19 seniors on the team, which is the most I’ve ever heard of since teaching here in Weston for the last 20 years or so,” Cochran said. “The core group of seniors has been with us pretty much since they were freshmen. And this has been a huge benefit for the team.”
But they couldn’t have arrived where they are now without a few bumps along the way. Cochran described the growth he has seen with this group in the past few years.
“To be candid, they were rather rowdy as freshmen. They lacked some discipline, although they were still very good players,” Cochran admitted.
However, the previous senior class’s good leadership was important to the starting seniors.
“Last year, they had a very good group of core senior players that modeled teamwork and leadership,” Cochran said. “Giving them the opportunity to see a group that worked together really helped them a lot.”
On the other hand, this group of seniors has also seen negative examples of leadership. Senior midfielder David Dangond commented on how he and his classmates were impacted by varying leadership styles throughout the years.
“When we were sophomores, people thought that they were better than someone just because of their age. [That year], we had a terrible season; we only won two games the entire season and didn’t even make it to playoffs,” he said.
This experience, however, has shaped the kind of team the current seniors are on today.
“This year everyone is seen as equal, everybody gets a say, and everybody listens to each other’s opinions. Nobody thinks they are better than somebody else because of their age or how good they are,” Dangond said.
This has been particularly important in their interactions with the underclassmen on the team.
“Although most of the starters are seniors and we are very close, this mentality has allowed us to work very well with Nick Ginovker and Raymond Wang, who are two and three years younger than us [respectively]. We’ve shown on the field that it doesn’t matter what the age is; we are all one team and equal,” Dangond said.
According to head coach Andrey Asparouhov, this focus on unity has been an advantage and has helped the team’s success.
“The team’s biggest strength is that we are one unit; [there are] no stars, just 23 hard working players,” Asparouhov said. “The maturity of the seniors has helped the other players on the team long-term… we have 4 captains but I [could] equally trust to everyone from the seniors to step up and lead.”
Senior Robert Garofalo spoke of his appreciation for his teammates and how they have impacted him through the past years.
“It was a great experience growing with this group of very talented guys. They pushed me everyday to become a better soccer player and teammate. I wouldn’t want it with anyone else.”