CORAL SPRINGS, FL - With the District 13-7A play opening up on Wednesday at Western High School, J.P. Taravella High School boys soccer is hopeful of a deep run into the postseason.
In order to do so, the Trojans (8-4-2) will need to defeat the Sharks (5-8-5) and then move on to play the winner of the Western/Cypress Bay semifinal contest. There is a reason for optimism as Trojans coach Todd Schoonover and his squad has already surpassed last year’s 5-14-1 record.
“We're having the best season we've had in seven years,” said Schoonover, whose team is assured of its second winning since 2012-13 when they were 15-2-2, the last time the Trojans reached the regional playoffs. The other winning season during that span came in 2016-17 when they finished 6-5-4.
In that 2012-13 season, Taravella finished runner-up to Deerfield Beach in the District 11-5A tournament but defeated St. Thomas Aquinas, 2-1 in overtime in the regional quarterfinals before falling to Boca Raton in the regional semifinal. Taravella won the Class 4A state championship in 2004 and lost in the Class 6A state semifinals in both 1995 and 1996.
Taravella is led by a trio of seniors in central defender Ben Sloane, midfielder Roman Prieto (7 goals, 12 assists) and forward Michael Lucien (8 goals, 3 assists).
Schoonover cites the team’s depth in the defense and Prieto’s all-around play as the reason for the team’s success.