Boys Soccer Team Begins State Tournament on Thursday


Wayne Hills celebrates win over Wayne Valley

By Ethan Russ, Staff Writer

On Thursday, October 27, the Wayne Hills Boys Soccer Varsity team begins their state tournament run at Tenafly High School at 4:15 pm. The two sides faced off against each other in their first preseason scrimmage and will meet again in one team’s last game of the season.

The two teams played to a 1-1 tie in the preseason and they have had similar records throughout the regular season. The stage has been set for an intriguing matchup in the first round of states.

For Wayne Hills, it has been a season of ups and downs, starting with just one win in the first four games, however, they won the next five games, including winning in a penalty shootout against Passaic Valley in the first round of the county tournament. The team then won just three of their last seven regular-season games, picking up a rivalry win against Wayne Valley in overtime, but losing the last game of the regular season at Passaic Valley.

Senior defender Dom Rojek and leader, who got injured in the county tournament win against Passaic Valley, has been able to watch the team’s performances from a different perspective and weighed in on the current state of the team. He said, “The vibe is good in the locker room. The energy is high. The boys are focused mentally and ready physically for battle tomorrow.”

The team has been really well-rounded this year, with no standout stars, but a lot of great contributors. Ten players have had at least one goal or assist. Junior Adem Ademi has the most goals so far, with five, while Junior Logan Ntansah and Sophomore Omar Yousif have four. Ntansah also has four assists to go along with his four goals. In goal, Seniors Luca Gioino and David Groel have both made 35 saves during the regular season.

Sophomore defender Adrian Rojek said, “The defense has been really strong recently, but the attack needs to be a bit more efficient to help us have more success. Thankfully, with Coach Bayley’s assistance, we have been focusing on resolving our problems at practice so that we can perform better against Tenafly.”

Wayne Hills has had a slightly better defensive record, allowing 24 goals this season, compared to the 25 that Tenafly has conceded. However, this will be a tough test for Wayne Hills though, as Tenafly has scored over 50 goals on the season, compared to the Patriots’ 23.

Adrian Rojek later said, “The quality has increased because of what’s at stake. We have to work harder and play smarter. We have to be much more focused defensively due to Tenafly’s good scoring record.”

No matter what happens, it can’t be disputed that this year for Wayne Hills was much more successful. The team last year allowed several more goals, scored about the same amount, had a much worse record overall and earned the last spot in the state tournament. This year has brought greater success, helping Hills to earn the ninth spot out of sixteen. The winner of the game on Thursday will play the winner of the game between Ramapo and Sparta. The second round game will occur on Monday, Halloween. Hopefully, the Patriots can win this game and make a deep run in the postseason.