Senior Keegan Crain practices shooting before the Homecoming game against Cristo Rey, Oct . 17. The Cavs tied the match, 0-0.

BOYS’ SOCCER: Freshmen step up, contribute 24 of 61 goals

The boys’ varsity soccer team is undefeated in league, with the exception of a 0-0 tie against Cristo Rey and a loss in a non-league scrimmage against El Camino.

Surprisingly, many players picked the losing game as one of their best. A huge crowd was at the under-the-lights game at El Camino, Sept. 24. The Country Day fans—about 100 in all—didn’t just outnumber the opposing team’s fans, but out-cheered them too.

“Playing in a large venue under the lights was amazing,” senior captain Keegan Crain said. “I felt more than just a clichéd player on a random field. I felt more significant.”

Freshman Jayce McCain, who plays defensive center mid, agreed.

“(The crowd) got us really pumped up,” he said.

In the first half, Country Day’s defense was very strong, and no goals were scored by either team.

“I think the best half-game was the first half against El Camino,” coach Matt Vargo said.

But things took a disappointing turn during the second half when El Camino scored three goals.

The team is now 11-0-1, having crushed every team they’ve faced in league. One factor of the team’s success is the three freshman starters: B.J. Askew, Theo Kaufman and McCain.

“(The freshmen) fill in positions that were left out on the team last year,” senior Skovran Cunningham said.

And the freshmen like it, too.

“(Playing with the seniors) is awesome,” Askew said. “We all joke around with each other, and at the end of the day, we are like a family.”

The team has scored 61 goals, 24 of which were made by freshmen Andrew Rossell, Steven Wang, Askew, Kaufman and McCain.

In fact, on average, the team has won by about 4 goals a game.

Vargo attributes the high scoring to a powerful offense.

“We have offensive players from last year who were leading scorers, as well as some really good freshmen that can put the ball in the net,” Vargo said.

The Aug. 27 Encina scrimmage resulted in a 2-1 Cavs’ victory. Askew and senior captain Ethan Ham both scored.

“Although it was a scrimmage, it showed us that we were going to be a great team,” Crain said.

Vargo said the best full game was the 8-1 victory over Vacaville Christian.

But he says there’s still room for improvement.

“We need to defend and attack crosses better,” Vargo said. “And I still think we need to continually get more fit.”

Previously published in the print edition on Oct. 28, 2014.

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