RANDOLPH, NJ- After six straight seasons with a record well above the .500 mark, the 2017 Randolph boys’ soccer team slipped below that barometer, finishing with an 8-9 record. Some key injuries and a bit of bad luck didn’t help matters much, and the Rams bowed out of states and counties much earlier than the previous few seasons.
In 2016, the Rams were 14-2-5 and won the County Tournament over Delbarton, and in 2015 they went 16-5-1, reaching the State finals before falling to a top 10 ranked West Orange team.
After graduating a large amount of seniors last year, coach George Mousis has a host of new faces whom he hopes will help the team reverse course and get back to their winning ways.
“Our team has very good chemistry although many of us have not played together until this year,” said captain Jim McConvery. “We look to improve on our communication to stay even more organized throughout the season.”
McConvery will be counted on to be one of the leaders on defense for the Rams, where he will be playing center back along with Kyle Silverstein. Flanking those two on the outside will be Joe Reed on the left and Bryce Jacobsen on the right.
“I try to lead by example on and off the field so my teammates can always count on me,” said McConvery. “I also try to push my teammates to the best of their abilities by making sure they are always focused.”
Behind them, as the last line of defense, will be goalkeeper John Zeman, who was also chosen as a captain.
“As the goalie of the team I’m focused on communication, and making sure my team is where they need to be to on the field,” said Zeman. “Communication is the most important part of a successful defense and a successful team.”
Up front, Captain Callum Potter will be the leader of the offense. Potter plays Center Midfield, and depending on the opponent will sometimes be in an attacking position, while others in a defensive mode. He will primarily be joined by a combination of Ryan Ruhalter, David Goldberg, and Julian Bolanos.
“The team has really good chemistry, we were all friends before being on the same team so that really helped,” said Callum Potter, also one of the Rams captains. “We all also have the same goal, and when we all want the same thing it helps us to all work as hard as possible, as a team.”
While their chemistry and friendship will help pay dividends, the team knows that there is no substitute for repetition and hard work.
“We treat each practice like it’s a game, because that’s the only way you are going to get better,” said Potter. “For this reason, I push the team as hard as possible and always remind them about the next play. It helps everyone to keep their heads up, while also staying focused and determined on the task at hand.”
Josh Levy and Chris Lubrano will be spending time up top at the Striker position, and will be counted on to pressure the opponents defense and get shots on net.
When asked about any key players returning to the team this Fall, couch Mousis mentioned Junior Santiago Rodriques in addition to the others mentioned above. As for newcomers who he hopes will make an impact, Mousis mentioned Ryan Gibb, McConvery, Bryce Jacobsen, and Chris Keaney
Keeping in tune with what his players said, Mousis also agreed that “Team Unity” was the strength of his squad.
Mousis said he is “looking forward to an outstanding and fun season,” while also adding he will look for his team to “Play to the best of our ability, while improving each week.”