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Green boys soccer team finishes third in Suburban League

11/15/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — Green High School boys soccer head coach Justin Thacker said he was “very happy with the quality of the soccer” his team played this year.

Overall, the team finished the 2012 season with a 7-8-4 record.

“The thing about this season is that I knew coming in that we were going to have some talent and the goal was to play good soccer,” he said. “That was the biggest goal I had — to play good soccer and to make a run in the playoffs.”

The team made it to the district semifinals, where it lost to GlenOak High School.

“I think throughout the season we continued to improve — and we did play good soccer throughout the season — we just couldn’t always put the ball in the net, which determines the game,” Thacker said. “Looking at the season, I was very happy with how well we played.”

In league play, Green finished tied for third place with a 3-4 record.

“The Suburban League is pretty competitive. We have state-ranked teams in there, and we played pretty well,” the coach said. “But again, there were a couple of games where if we could have put the ball in the net, things would’ve been different.”

According to Thacker, this year’s team featured nine seniors, many of whom were returning lettermen, and “many juniors who started in many pivotal games.”

The team captains were seniors Tanner Vinciguerra and Kevin Bayonnet.

“Tanner was a two-year starter at goalkeeper for us. He is a tremendous athlete and leader by example. There’s a quote I think about every once in a while when I think of Tanner and it’s, ‘Don’t ever be caught doing nothing.’ And he’s always doing something,” Thacker said. “Kevin is the guy everybody looks up to. He runs the warm-up and he gets sessions together over the summer. He’s a big organizational leader.”

The other seniors on this year’s team were: Nate Musselman, forward; Adam Schott, midfielder; Tyler Cindea, forward; Clay Kingan, defender and midfielder; Josh Dang, forward; Jared Mooney, defender; and Griffin Jenkins, forward.

“The seniors are a great group of kids. They’re all smart,” Thacker said. “They’re all friends. It’s a really close-knit group, and they’ve been playing together for a long time. Team unity was not an issue with this group.”

Two juniors who played major roles this season, Thacker said, were Dan Pollock and Keith Genetin.

“Dan came on strong for us playing defender. He stared the majority of the games,” the coach said. “Keith played left back for us. He’s a cross country runner and he did both sports. It was awesome to have him in the back.”

Another key player for the team this season, the coach said, has been sophomore Kenton Keeslar.

“He is a leader on the field,” Thacker said. “He has a very high soccer IQ. He really grew up this year.”

The other starters slated to return next season are juniors Andrew Badalich, Nicholas Reale and Matt Cefalau.

“We’ll have six starters returning and the junior class is strong, but there’s no way we can lose nine seniors and not miss them,” the coach said. “There will be some big shoes to fill.”

This was Thacker’s eighth year as the team’s coach. His assistants are Frank DeVitis, Jason Nelson and Dan Harlan.

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