High Hopes for the OES Men’s Soccer Team

By Alex Slusher

The talented and young  ‘Varks will enter their playoff run with a full head of steam.

For the first time in three years, our boy’s soccer team enters the playoffs as a major contender to win the state championship. Despite a team full of young players, the team enters the playoffs with a record of 12-1-1, and an undefeated 7-0-1 in league play. In addition to the youthful roster, the team’s play has been even more impressive when understood within the context of their injuries.

Henry Giannini ‘21, a starting defender as a freshman, has been sidelined for the whole fall with two separate injuries and is due to come back in about a week. James Lawliss ‘21, a center midfielder, broke his wrist about a third of the way through the season, and continues to play with a brace covering his forearm. However, possibly the toughest blow was suffered in the De La Salle game when captain Mason Lee ‘20 was concussed. He will unfortunately be out until the final, should the Aardvarks make it that far.

Additionally, the Men’s Soccer Team is motivated by the lack of acknowledgment they have received in various media and rankings throughout the year. In an OSAA preseason coaches poll, the Aardvarks were ranked 7th in the state, perhaps due to a subpar last two seasons. Furthermore, despite being the #1 team in the OSAA rankings, journalists continue to cover other 3A teams instead of OES.

Captain and lone senior Thomas Hochman ‘19 has noticed an increased sense of urgency from himself, being in his last season. “I knew we were better than 7th, and the lack of coverage didn’t bother me. However, it did add a little extra fodder for every game we won”. That sense of urgency was especially apparent when OES faced Portland Christian in their last regular season game, winning 9-3 and making a statement of strength as they head into the playoffs. Evan Hasson, defender ‘21, said, “It was a good game, but we have a lot tougher ones ahead of us. I am glad we ended the regular season on a positive note”.

Be sure to go out and support your Aardvarks throughout the playoffs!