The PHS boys varsity soccer team currently ranks first in the Colonial Valley Conference. They beat Nottingham High School 5–0 on September 29, with Co-Captain Alex Ratzan ’17 scoring two goals, and Noam Davidov ’18, Josh Nieman ’19 and Quentin Pompliano ’18 with one goal each. On October 5, they beat Hamilton West High School 9–0, with center defensive midfielder Andrew Beamer ’18 leading the way with three goals and one assist. As a whole, the team had an undefeated preseason and has currently won a total of 17 games with only one loss so far.
“It’s a very great thing to have a good start to the season … it gives us great confidence going to our later matches [knowing] that we can do well because we know our potential,” said forward Davidov. With these wins under its belt, the team maintains its rankings as one of the top teams.
Forward Ratzan recently injured his ankle and strained his hamstring. However, he was able to return to the field due to the injuries not being too severe.
“I worked back into it gradually, and my coaches were communicating with me well … My teammates were being supportive of me,” Ratzan said. He has scored in every game, and he leads the team with the help of Co-Captain Andrew Goldsmith ’17.
Good skillmanship and sportsmanship has led the team to where it stands today.
“I’ve always had a good group of guys to support me through it, so I play for the social aspect because I got to know a lot of new people,” Davidov said. The players value the aspect of supporting each other and improving team chemistry.
At the beginning of the season, many of the players were uncertain of how well they would play because 15 senior players had graduated. Some of the players that graduated include striker Cole Snyder ’16, midfielder Chris Harla ’16, and goalkeeper Owen Lindenfeldar ’16. This year, everyone had to adjust to different playing styles and several younger players had to step up to fill the vacant roles. Nevertheless, the team has been able to transition well and is using its chemistry to it’s advantage.
“It definitely hasn’t been an easy adjustment,” said left back Pompliano. “But we’ve adjusted now. We’re really clicking well, and we have a great team this year.”
The team has three games left in the Colonial Valley Conference, one of which is against Trenton Central High School, who recently won against Ewing High School 3–1, and against Katzenback High School 5–3. Nonetheless, after the win against West Windsor-Plainsboro North in overtime, the boys soccer team is ready to finish the season in a clean sweep.
“With our record being 17–1, [and] going into games against teams we’ve already beat, we’re perfectly capable of winning,” said right midfielder, Harry Malady ’18.
The team began its Mercer County Tournament campaign with a 8–0 victory over Nottingham High School after advancing to the second round with a bye. The next day, the team had five second half goals to beat WW-PN 6–1, and advanced to the tournament semifinals. On October 24, the team ousted number three seeded Hopewell Valley Central High School 1–0 on a goal early in the second half from Davidov. They advanced to the championship game of the tournament. The championship game is on October 27, where the Tigers will play against the Pennington School. The game will be played at The College of New Jersey
“We will just have to keep working hard and keep up this great pace that we are [currently] playing at so that we will end up winning something big at the end of the season,” Davidov said.