Boys’ Varsity Soccer Celebrates Historic Undefeated Season
by Caleb Rhodes on Friday, December 11th, 2015
Very rarely are sports teams as dominant as this year’s Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team. With its 15-0 ISL league record and 22-0 season record, this team probably best compares to the New England Patriots who went 16-0 in 2007; however, while the Patriots ended up losing the Super Bowl, the Boys’ Soccer Team won every possible team award: the ISL championship, NEPSAC Class A championship, and the league Sportsmanship Trophy.
Beyond these team accolades, the team also received a plethora of individual honors. Jerry Ozor (I), with 23 goals and 14 assists in league play, won the ISL’s Offensive Player of the Year award. The league also awarded Defensive Player of the Year to co-captain Adam Bramson (I), who led a defense that tied a league record by only conceding three goals the entire season. Furthermore, the team had five players in the all ISL First Team: Adam Bramson (I), fellow captains Shay Quintin (I) and Luis Viceira (I), Jerry Ozor (I), and Luca Levee (I). In addition, Gavin Baker-Greene (I), Amos Shapiro-Thompson (III), goalkeeper Jeremy Cowham (I), and one of next year’s captains Jack O’Brien (II), made the Second Team All ISL. As Adam Bramson (I) notes, “our whole starting 11 should have been First Team All ISL, but due to league rules, we could only have 5.”
This season’s success is a far cry from previous years. The last time Milton Academy’s Boy’s Varsity Soccer won the ISL was in 1998, according to the league website. Luis Viceira (I) recounts that “[s]ix years ago Coach Chris Kane inherited a team that won one or two games a season. Kane’s ability to completely turnaround the program is absolutely astounding. He not only cares deeply about the game, but also about each of his players, both on and off the field. He makes sure to train both JV and freshmen players in addition to varsity, as he recognizes the importance of the strength of the entire program, one that has grown greatly under his careful guidance”. All the beloved soccer coaches—Kane, Blanton, Torney, and Sibor—helped the team progress from last year’s undefeated season to this year’s faultless perfection. Of the 22 games the team played, they kept a clean sheet in 19, including an 18 game shutout streak to finish the season. Additionally, they scored 68 goals and are only the second team in ISL history to win every league game. Coach Kane describes his team as “arguably the strongest team in Milton and ISL history,” and the evidence overwhelmingly supports his point.
The 26 player roster included 13 seniors, nine of whom were in the starting 11. For many, if there was ever a time for winning, that time was now. Jack O’Brien (II) captured his team’s fervor for success.
“Before the season, we sat down as a team and discussed team and individual goals for the year,” said Jack. “I think everybody agreed that we were going to aim to win both the ISL and New England’s. Although before this season, nobody on our team had won either, we knew we were capable of winning both, so we set out to do just that.” To achieve these lofty objectives, Coach Kane pushed the team to keep “the focus sharp and intensity high,” while also fostering a family dynamic. The players’ camaraderie and brotherhood were a true delight for the Milton community and others to witness. Mr. Bland mentions that “Coach Kane refers to the team as a family, and it showed. They took care of each other”.
Winning the New England Championship was the perfect way to end the season. Bramson describes the moment of euphoria, saying “we all lost our minds and took a billion photos with the trophy.” Viceira remembered the “disbelief at what we had achieved and gratitude for my teammates, parents, coaches, and of course the managers, fans, and anyone else who had shown an interest and supported us throughout the season”. “This team is one of the greatest of all time in the history of prep soccer,” declares Manager Malcolm McCann (II) while another manager, Charlie Guscott (I), praises the team’s resilience: “they had a lot of people doubting them at every turn, yet they laughed it off and kept playing their hardest and defeated the odds.”
Mr. Ball and Mr. Bland both recognized the importance of this team for the school. Mr. Bland said the Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team’s performance exemplified “the level of excellence defined by performance as well as character this school is known for.” Mr. Ball concurred, adding that the team gave “the community the opportunity to celebrate and support fellow Miltonians publicly…and generate energy and momentum.” This season was historically triumphant and provided something for Milton students to rally behind. All we can do now is wait with bated breath for what glory the coaches and future captains Jack O’Brien (II), Jack Sheehan (II), and Luke Quintin (II) will strive to achieve next year on the Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team.
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