JV Boys Soccer Team Wins ACIS Championship


JV Boys team after winning the championship game.

Andy Judlowe, News Editor

On Thursday Oct. 28, the Junior Varsity Boys Soccer team finished off a great season with a win against Packer to claim the ACIS championship. After two scoreless halves, the team won in penalty kicks, a dramatic end to a successful season. 

The team finished the regular season with an 8-2 record to claim the first seed in the playoffs. According to the team’s head coach, Kevin Romero, winning was especially meaningful coming off last year’s season which was cancelled due to COVID-19. He noted that many players were lacking in experience, saying, “Tenth graders didn’t have the ninth grade experience. Some of them have never been part of a soccer club team or had much soccer experience.” 

This lack of experience, however, did not keep the team from success. According to Romero, the team’s mindset is what won them the championship this October. “The other team had very good players but our team had the heart and mentality to understand that anything is possible,” Romero said. “From our captains to our goalie, every single player [had] an important role and highlight this season.”

Two days before the finals, the team played Grace Church in the semi-finals and also won in penalty kicks. After finishing regulation in a 2-2 tie, Joe Rooney ‘25, Jake Goldblatt ‘24, Alex Vebman ‘25, and Madox Lupovici ‘24, all nailed their penalty shots to send Friends to the finals. 

According to left wing Graham Brown ‘24, the team felt good going into the big game. “We’d played well all season. We worked really hard to get that far and we just wanted to make the most of it.” 

Although the championship game against Packer was played at Randall’s Island, which is an approximately fifty minute commute from Friends, a lively fanbase still braved the chilly October weather to support the team. The large crowd of students and parents went silent with anticipation as two overtime periods concluded without a goal, and both teams lined up at half field to begin penalty kicks. 

Rooney started off the PKs with a powerful kick that was just high of the goal. Then Spencer Buten ‘24, the team’s goalkeeper, took the net. Buten was able to save the first goal, a hard shot to the left side of the goal. Henry Tassone ‘25, Nicky Marsh ‘25, and Vebman all hit their PKs, and Buten held Packer off to send it to a sudden death.

In sudden death penalty kicks, both teams trade shots until one team makes theirs and the opponent misses. Friends sent out Marsh, who delivered a low shot into the back of the net. Then Buten once again took the net. One save here would end it. Packer’s player took his runup and missed high, securing the win for Friends. The spectators stormed the field and cheered the team as they were given their ACIS Championship plaque. 

According to coach Romero, the win was well deserved. “We worked very hard,” he said, “but most importantly, we helped our teammate be successful. That is every coach’s dream. And because of that, we won this season.”