Urban boys varsity soccer bounces back after rough patch

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Emma McCune

Harry Krinsky ('13) sprints up the field

Kyra Bergsund, Staff Writer

The Urban boy’s varsity soccer team is on a roller coaster of a season, which began promisingly, fell into an unfortunate slump, rebounded with two key wins and ended with a loss in the North Coast Section tournament on Nov. 2.

“After the loss to Lick, it was tough to bounce back and practice,” said team captain Evan Chang (’12), referring to a game against Lick-Wilmerding High School on Oct. 4. The boys next faced University High School. “As a team, we realized that no matter the score of our last game, Uni was a new opponent and a new game,” Chang said.

The Blues went on to win the game against Uni by a score of 1-0, plus another 3-1 win against Stuart Hall. Urban secured the sixth seed in the NCS tournament last week. The Blues lost that game to Roseland University Preparatory High School 1-0 in Santa Rosa.

Luke Hirschhorn (’14) looks at a drought of early season league victories positively. “Every team hits a bump in the road, and I think that was ours,” Hirschhorn said.

In previous years, the boys soccer team has not been Urban athletics’ pride and glory.  At the end of the season last year, head coach Antony Reyes assembled his players to discuss the next season. Reyes has noticed positive improvement this year, and he feels good about the fact that the players returned from summer determined to work “in the right direction.”

Reyes said that by keeping his goals in mind, the team moved past discouraging losses, such as a Sept. 30 loss to Drew High School with a painfully close score of 3-2.

“It was disappointing that (Drew) won, but we weren’t disappointed in our performance,” Reyes said.

On Oct. 21, Urban took on Drew again, emerging victorious, thanks to the focus on performance instead of results.

Urban competes against some of the best teams in the state, including Marin Academy, a soccer team that enjoys a widely acknowledged and well-deserved reputation for excellent play. “I think our ability to come off our losing streak and beat University shows just how strong our team is even after suffering multiple defeats,” said Gabe Kaufman (’13), who is co-captain alongside Chang.

A notable reason for the improved performance is the team dynamic this season. “This year’s team is different in the sense that we don’t get frustrated with each other, no matter the outcome of a game,” Chang said.

“There’s a lack of negativity on the team, which was a consistent element in the last few years, unfortunately,” Reyes said.

On a similarly positive note, Chang believes that everyone is “ willing to put (in) a great amount of effort, so that is what (I am) excited about.”

The team made the BCL play-offs, seeded fourth. A 5-0 loss to the first seed, Marin Academy, on Oct. 26 ended their league season.