Gabby Zeeman, Editor

Reflecting back on their 4-13-1 record last season, the Slater soccer team hopes to push through a winning season. This year, coach White and coach Dan, along with dedicated captains Caleb Koresh (center defensive mid) and Nick Mazzella (goalkeeper) have their standards set high to score the victory.

As captains, both Koresh and Mazzella help lead the team as they motivate and push their teammates to improve.

“Caleb and Nick are two of the hardest working players on the team and have the most varsity experience. They have the potential to be the two best players in the league,” senior Tommy Devine (center attacking mid) said. “They know the game better than anyone else and they always have a positive attitude towards everyone.”

Including both captains, the team returns eight starters—Devine, seniors Jayden Deiter (left mid), Austin Medina (right mid), and Dan Ferguson (center back), junior Derek Lasher (center back), and sophomore Gabe Lawler (right mid)—who all work together to help guide and support their teammates in times of need.

“Most of the returning seniors guide the rest of the team by example. All of us work very hard to show what it takes to make varsity. In practice, the returning players will always go 100% and a lot of the junior varsity will try to step up,” Deiter said. “There is also a mentality where we don’t shy away from punishments, including suicides and push ups, we just do them and try our best, so we don’t get more tacked on. The rest of the team sees that and works harder too.”

New to the starting roster is junior Bergen Stone (center attacking mid) who was a standout on junior varsity last year. His dedication to the game and to the offseason benefitted for him and the entire team.

“Within the season, I hope to build a strong chemistry with the teammates I don’t know too well and maintain a positive attitude,” Stone said. “I like to work hard and push myself to the best of my ability to help develop a stronger team this season and improve my own skills as an individual on and off the field.”

Aside from practices, the boys’ development as a team came down to all the time they committed to offseason workouts and in the weight room.

“We had weekly workouts which helped us build our overall physical strength to be as fit as possible before starting the season. Coach made sure we worked on building strength, so that we can out work better teams,” Medina said. “We worked in the weight room and were expected to do our own cardio.”

As the boys make their way through season, they’ll have their eyes set on the Southern Lehigh game where they’ll have a chance to make team history.

“Southern Lehigh is a huge game because they have always been a very talented team and we have never beaten them in our program’s history, so for the seniors it’s our last chance,” Devine said. “We know that it’s going to be a very difficult game for us and we’re going to be prepared for it.”

Although the Slaters are eager to play Southern Lehigh, nothing can compare to the pre-game anticipation they have when playing the school rivals—the Pen Argyl Green Knights.

“Pen Argyl is always a game to look forward to because they’re our school rivals and our last game of the season. It’s always a close and intense game because tons of fans come out to support both teams,” Koresh said.

With a team goal set since day one, the boys’ believe that this season will be one to remember.

“I think we have a good group of guys that want to achieve something big this year. Our goal is to make it back to districts, which is definitely realistic for us this year,” Mazzella said. “Coming off two rough seasons, we feel like we have a lot to prove as a team. Especially with such a large senior class, we want to try and go out with a bang and give everything we have to have one last successful season together.”

After becoming more familiar with one another, the boys can say that this season will definitely stand out from past years.

“This season reminds me of the season I had my freshmen year where all the seniors were really close to each other and they had that natural dynamic with one another. It’s like that now. All of the seniors this year really enjoy each others’ company, creating that strong dynamic yet again on and off the pitch,” Medina said.

Fans of the Slater soccer team can come out and show their support at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 22 as the Slaters take on Whitehall at Whitehall High School.