Boys varsity soccer embarks on another season and hopes to challenge for an FAA title again, after finishing as runners-up in 2019. Two years ago, the Storm lost to Hopkins School in the championship game but is confident it can go one better this time around.
Head Coach Ryan Fairhurst returns for his fifth season and is excited to play a full schedule: “Preseason has gone well. We have been working hard, utilizing a blend of 11v11 games, as well as technical and tactical activities. I feel the team is prepared for the season ahead, and we all look forward to the chance to play a full schedule.”
This year’s squad is captained by Michael Riley ‘22 and Fritz Laibe ‘22. Fairhurst has been impressed with the pair’s leadership: “Michael and Fritz have led by example throughout preseason. I expect them to continue to maintain a positive culture throughout the season. They have a lot of experience, and I will look to them for help guiding some of the younger players.”
There is a good mix of youth and experience on the team, and Fairhurst is eager to see what his group can achieve: “Our returning players look good. Connor Cummings ‘22, George Foster ‘23, Watson Meyer ‘24, Gianmarco Pirri ‘24, and Eli Brody ‘24 have stepped up the level in both practices and the scrimmages. We also have two freshmen who have stood out and have very bright futures. Javier Minuesa ‘25 is a great addition and very comfortable with the ball at his feet, and we are pleased to welcome Justin Mims ‘25 to the varsity squad. I think he will give us an additional attacking threat with his speed and technical ability.”
The Storm will continue the style of play Fairhurst has introduced since his appointment as coach, but he will ask his players to be adaptable to any situation: “When we have the ball, we will continue to maximize touches in possession and look to utilize our strengths in transition. We intend to take a pragmatic approach this year, with a few different team formations and defensive styles. We will need everyone to be focused and ready to adjust when asked to do so.”
Fairhurst expects Hopkins to be the main challenger again, having won the FAA for the past three years, but thinks it could be a lot more open this season: “After not playing an FAA schedule last fall, I am unsure how the other teams will look. However, with Hopkins winning three FAA championships in a row, I think they will be the team to beat again.”
Boys varsity soccer has its season opener on Friday, September 10, at Harvey School, before its first FAA contest of the year at Rye Country Day School on Saturday, September 18.