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Coach says Green boys soccer team playing ‘exciting’ soccer

10/17/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — After starting the season with three straight losses, the Green High School boys soccer team went on to win eight of its final 13 regular season games.

Green ended the regular season with an 8-7-1 overall record.

“This was the first time we’ve had eight wins in the regular season for quite some time, so it’s a step in the right direction,” said first-year head coach Jason Nelson. “We’re trying to get that winning culture back for Green boys soccer.”

In Suburban League play, Green ended with a 4-3 mark.

“We finished tied for third in the league,” the coach said. “That’s a little bit better than we’ve done in the past considering the Suburban League is a very strong league.”

Nelson said the team’s improvement after the first three games was due to his players getting experience at the varsity level.

“I think we had some inexperienced players, even if they were juniors and seniors,” he said. “We gave up a few goals due to inexperience that didn’t happen later in the season. We took our bumps and bruises, but we pushed through, and by the end of the season we came together at the right time leading into the playoffs.”

According to Nelson, this year’s team has been led by senior captain Matt Cefalu.

“Matt finished the regular season scoring 17 goals and tallied eight assists,” the coach said. “We haven’t had a player who scored 17 goals in quite some time. We’ve been looking for that one guy to step up and take over the bulk of the goal-scoring responsibilities and Matt did that.”

Nelson said the team has been led on the attacking portion of the field by senior Keith Genetin.

“Keith has also been a great supply of goals,” he said. “Keith has been relentless with his work rate on the left mid position.”

Seniors Dan Pollock and Nick Reale also have played key roles, the coach stated.

“Those two have been just absolutely amazing in the back as far as keeping us organized and leading from a defensive position,” Nelson said. “They don’t always get the glory, but they are true leaders in the back.”

In goal, the team has employed first-year starter Christian Galayda.

“Christian is one of those players who we kind of put in a position knowing he was young and inexperienced overall,” the coach said. “He took his bumps and bruises early in the year, but he has really made some crucial saves down the stretch to either keep us in ballgames or to seal off games. I’m pretty proud of what he’s done as a sophomore, and we look forward to two more years of him leading us in goal.”

Nelson said his team plays an “exciting” brand of soccer.

“We’ve scored 47 regular season goals, which has been the highest total of goals from a Green boys soccer team since, I think, my senior year of fall 2003,” he said. “We’re just an exciting, attacking team and we like to go after goals.”

Editor’s note: The fifth-seeded Green boys soccer team played in its first playoff game Oct. 16 against Ellet High School as part of the Division I district tournament (results of the game were not available at presstime). The winner of that game will play Highland High School Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at Highland.

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