Soccer prepares for district season after tournament in Georgetown


Boys  soccer is set to kick off district play on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at home against Irving Nimitz. The team ended its preseason with a 2-4-2 record.

“As of right now, we’ve gone through a couple of scrimmages and about half a dozen games,” head coach Matt Zimmerman said. “I think all programs struggle for consistency more than anything else. We have not, so far in the preseason, executed our game plans in a fashion that I would like to see. Everything is a work in progress with getting ready for the district season.”

Junior Diego Benzanilla said the defense needs to work on communication and their reconstruction of leadership. After captains Matthew Hoffman and Lucas George graduated, they were replaced by seniors John Williams, Mason Booe and Owen Passmore.

“I think we’ve struggled with having guys injured or guys going on recruiting trips, so we haven’t played well in the back,” Zimmerman said. “There’s a few line-up changes that may occur and we may end up trying to play different formations that will put us in the best spot to succeed.”

Senior captain Owen Passmore said lack of communication across the entire field led to avoidable goals in recent games against Westwood Round Rock and Katy Cinco Ranch during the tournament in Georgetown.

“We have all the components that we need, but on the field, we are almost silent and that’s how we concede goals,” Passmore said. “If we can’t find our voices and begin communicating on the field, it will be a long season and it will not go as envisioned.”

Throughout preseason, the team has faced Servite, Keller, Tyler Lee, Southlake, Westwood Round Rock, Rockwall Heath, Katy Cinco Ranch and Creekview. All of the opponents were at or near the top of their divisions last year.

“This year, I knew we are going to have a talented group and we were trying to build off of last year’s successful season,” Zimmerman said. “The schedule this year is the most difficult that we’ve had, certainly since I’ve been here as an assistant coach and head coach.”

After finishing fourth in district play last year and losing to WT White in the second round, the team is hoping to build off of last season’s success. 

“I’m looking forward to a district championship,” Bezanilla said. “I think we need to focus on not talking to the refs and losing our cool in the game, because that’s something that has affected us lately, especially some individual players who are getting yellow cards for that.”

The team is bringing back players in several key roles from last season including last year’s leading goal scorer senior Alex Gusola, leading goal scorer senior John Williams. All opponents the team played in playoffs last year were ranked top 50 nationally.

“This year we have more seniors on the team, which not only equals more experience, but I feel that more people have leadership qualities and are willing to put in the work to achieve our goals this season,” Passmore said. “I believe that with our determination and grit, we will be able to have the season that we are all dreaming of.”