In the last two seasons, the boys’ soccer team has seen “Loss” written in the box score only five times in 39 games.
But this season has been a different story. After eight games, the Cavs have already dropped five, while being shut out twice.
Last year, scoring wasn’t a problem. The Cavs lost only three games with the largest goal margin being two. But that was a different team. That was a team with former students B.J. Askew and Jayce McCain, who played crucial roles in the Cavs’ system.
“Jayce had a really strong ability to always know exactly what was going on around him during games,” senior Emil Erickson, who played with McCain for two years, said.
“He was always in the right place and always made the right passes and runs.”
And sophomore Nate Jakobs was very concise in describing Askew’s role on the team.
“B.J. scored a ton of goals.”
In his two years, Askew, who scored 50 goals and 127 points, was the Cavs’ main offensive threat. This year, Jakobs is the offensive star, leading the Cavs with six goals.
But that is not meant to discredit the Cavs’ season at hand. Despite losing their leading scorer, the boys have shown they can win in dominating fashion.
Just look at their Dec. 2 matchup against the Victory Christian Vikings, when they beat the Vikings handily 10-0, scoring six goals in the first half off Vikings’ keeper David Bodner.
But it wasn’t the 10-0 blowout that head coach Matt Vargo was the most proud of. Instead, it was the Cavs’ 3-2 loss to the Delta Saints on Dec. 13. Due to class obligations, Erickson and juniors Theo Kaufman and Andrew Rossell couldn’t attend, leaving the Cavs without subs.
“We showed tremendous heart, and at the end of the game the other team didn’t want anything to do with us,” Vargo said.
But that wasn’t the game that stood out in the players’ minds.
Like many of his teammates, Erickson said the game he remembers best was the one against their rivals, Sacramento Waldorf, on Jan. 3, when the boys defeated the Waves 3-2.
The Waves were looking for revenge after the Cavs defeated them 3-0 last year in the section championship.
But with two impressive goals from sophomore Jack Christian and one from senior Aidan Cunningham, the Cavs added another win to their side of the Cavs-Waves rivalry.
“We showed that we are mentally tough,” Erickson said.
“We were able to hold onto our lead right after coming back from vacation after not practicing for two weeks.”
But the boys still have a long way to go if they want to add another section title banner to their collection.
Kaufman said the Cavs need to work on communicating and connecting passes with a solid first touch on the receiving end.
But improving their communication shouldn’t be too hard because this iteration of the Cavs’ lineup has something last year’s didn’t.
“We have a really strong team bond,” Kaufman said.