Tigers have plenty of new faces, but expectations haven’t changed
Holy Trinity's Bryce-Austin Wahy (left) and Carlo Campanini will be two of the key players on this year's Tigers team which is hoping to get back to the final four despite having a large crop of new players.
photo by Carl Kotala
The Holy Trinity boys soccer team entered last season knowing it could rely on the strength of its 13 seniors.
Coach James Phillips also knew that in 2016, those seniors would be gone, and the Tigers would not only need a fresh new crop of players, but that he’d probably have to adjust the way Holy Trinity played the game.
What you’re going to see this year are the benefits of the plan Phillips came up with.
“We knew that a big core of (players) were going to move up together,” Phillips said. “We’ve got a real good JV coach, Adrian Moreno. He took them for a year and he knew what system we were going to play this year.
“… We’re going to be a little bit more of a possession-based team than we were last year. It’s going to be interesting.”
This year’s team won’t be as physical or as big as the team that went to the final four last season. But the Tigers have been encouraged by the way the new players have come in ready to pick up where last year’s team left off.
“We’ve definitely had to adjust, but I think one of the best parts is how a lot of the younger boys that we have definitely stepped up this year,” senior Bryce-Austin Wahy said. “I think we definitely have just as good a chance as last year of getting as far as we did.”
While Wahy should spell trouble for opponents while attacking from the wing, junior Carlo Campanini is expected to switch from striker to central defender to give the Tigers more of a presence in the back.
Campanini will be aided by senior defenders Thomas Baez and Connor Dunne along with senior Zane Chandler-Rogero taking over as the goalkeeper.
Junior central midfielder Jack Ganiban has been impressive in early-season matchups and the Tigers are also expecting big things from junior forward Bryon Cha.
Ludovico Martinenghi, a junior foreign exchange student from Italy, should also help out in the midfield.
The Tigers are also anticipating the return of senior forward Gabrielle Perez-Alvarez from injury to give them a big boost, forward, senior injured and should give big boost when he comes back.
Although the core of new players stayed together on the JV team last season, many of them were brought up for the team’s state playoff run and Campanini believes that experience will provide plenty of motivation for this season.
“I think seeing that has really motivated them to want to be there again,” Campanini said. “If you know what it feels like, it’s easier to work toward that goal.”