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Go for Goal: The Overview of Joel Barlow Soccer

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This fall season, the boys and girls soccer teams are looking to make noise in the South Western Conference and the Class L state tournaments. The girls, coached by Neil Phillips, look to defend their conference title, while the boys, coached by Paul Winstanley, look to reach the state championship again this year. Although the girls haven’t reached a state championship since 2008, and boys haven’t won since 2007, both teams plan to return to states and make a run.

Athletic director Michael Santangeli is well aware of the potential of this years teams and expects great seasons for both squads. He thought especially highly of the class of 2018 seniors. “I think it’s a very good class. In the past years leading up to this we have always known this class had a lot of ability,” said Santangeli. Although the class has a lot of talent, the boys will be presented with many challenges this season.

Senior captain Grant LaGaipa, after coming up short last year in the state championship now has the experience it will take to win it all. “So far were doing very well (12-2-1). We have a strong schedule ahead of us but if we come together as a team we will do very well,” said LaGaipa.

“We have every grade starting for us this year, all over the field too. All together we work as a unit,” said LaGaipa. For LaGaipa, this is his second time around being a captain, and once again he will rely on his stellar communication skills to breed success on the defensive end of the field. LaGaipa describes his team as hardworking, dominant, and like a family.

Over to the girls team, Amelia Blackwell, committed to play soccer at West Point next year, and her co-captain Catarina Goncalves, spoke very highly of their team young who is 6-6-3. “There’s more pressure from ourselves because we expect more from each other,” said Blackwell. Although the team has graduated key starters from last year such as Kayla Crosby and Mckenzie Perna, Goncalves knows the team can fill their spots with key underclassmen.

With the constant pressure from themselves, Goncalves credited the younger players who are stepping up. Goncalves said Sara Alix and Hannah Ceva, although injured, will return and make big contributions to the team. Goncalves knows her team’s opportunity to go far in the playoffs, but she also under stands  the importance of the Barlow Community on the team’s success. “It helps on game day knowing that you have people encouraging you,” said Goncalves concerning the fan base. Both the girls and boys soccer teams need the support of the fans and for Barlow community to cheer in support as the teams look to achieve their goals.

As the playoff qualification games near, every game becomes more and more important. The bracket picture in both the state and conference playoffs are becoming more clear as each game passes by. With help of the Barlow fanbase and the leadership from this class of seniors, the boys and girls soccer teams have great chances to achieve their goals and hang up banners in the Golden Dome.

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