Boys Soccer Takes on Spain

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It was an exciting Sunday morning for the boys soccer team as they prepared themselves for an amazing expedition to Spain. They were scheduled to play a few soccer games against some spanish clubs and go on a few tours around the cities.

The first stop for the team was in Barcelona on July 31. The plane ride was smooth sailing for all 7 hours, but the boys were all very tired and jet lagged from the flight. Their first day in Barcelona was spent mostly on the beach and in the hotel to give them a day to relax and rest up for the events to come. The itinerary for the team was to spend a few days in Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid and play a game in each place. Between game days, the guys would take part in training sessions with professional coaches from Spain.

Excited for their first game, the team was eager to get to the field. They were fired up and ready to play their first Spanish game. The game did not go as planned, however. The final resulted in a WMC loss with a score of 4-1. Many of the players argued that the score could have easily been 2-2 in the end. The second game was played in Valencia. This team would be the best competition the boys soccer team may ever face. The final score was an astounding 8-0 loss. Unfortunately, West Morris was outmatched. It served as a big learning experience however. The boys had one game left in the trip scheduled in Madrid.

Before the game, head coach, Steve Cukar, brought the boys together in a huddle and told them, “These guys (the opposing team) are not taking us seriously. They think we are some weak team from the US. Let’s show them the right way to play.”

After this short, but inspiring speech from Coach Cukar, the boys came out firing. They battled hard all the way until the end. With 5 minutes left, the game was tied 1-1. They needed something that would provide them with the go ahead goal. In those last 5 minutes, Coach Cukar decided the formation needed a change. Within the next minute of the formation change, West Morris scored again to take the lead! The clock then ran out of time and the celebrations had followed. The team recorded their win they so desperately desired.

After the trip, many were excited to see their families again, but also disappointed to be leaving. The team returned on August 8th with tired looks on their faces from the long and bumpy plane ride.

When asked to reflect about the trip, Casey Andrus, a player for the West Morris Central boys soccer team, stated, “We didn’t win every game, but that didn’t matter because it was great bonding experience for all of us and it improved our chemistry with one another greatly.”

The team got to play the game they all love in a country where they came to love as well.

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