Marquette Freshman Soccer Completes Undefeated Season

Shu Han, Social Media Editor

The 1972 Miami Dolphins. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes. Undefeated seasons are few and far in between, with a few errant bounces of the ball sometimes deciding between glory and heartbreak. While not quite at the level of the pros, the MHS freshman boys soccer team swept their season this year on their way to a 17-0 record to start off their MHS soccer careers in a perfect fashion.

“An undefeated season is something a coach might not ever experience in his/her career,” Joseph Johnson, freshman soccer coach, said. “Many players do not get to experience the feat as well, so it is an accomplishment I am very proud of. I am happy my players can remember this experience the rest of their lives as well.”

Captain Ben McDonough, freshman, said that the team enjoyed their first year of high school sports.

“I thought we had a good time,” McDonough said. “We had good team chemistry, and we had a lot of skilled players.”

The team was able to accomplish their feat through a combination of hard work and teamwork.

“Our team was comprised of a group of players who embraced hard work and who enjoyed playing with each other and for each other,” Johnson said. “We had talent in all areas of the game (goalkeeping, defense, midfield, offense, and strong players coming off the bench). The players knew the expectations for each game were to stay composed and to play hard every minute of every game.”

The team credits a lot of their success to their coach for training them and helping them become better players.

“We worked hard and had a great coach,” Justin Tecklenberg, freshman, said. “We had a great team, we all stuck together and kept our heads up.”

Scoring 78 goals over the course of the season while only allowing five, Johnson said one big challenge was keeping the success from getting to their heads.

“Our largest challenge was not giving in to the temptation of becoming complacent,” Johnson said. “After doing well for many weeks, it would have been easy to have a large ego, but we respected every team we faced, week in and week out.”

According to the players, one of the hardest opponents they faced during their steak was De Smet.

“Our biggest opponent was probably De Smet,” McDonough said. “They had an A team and a B team. My favorite memory was from the De Smet game since I scored the game winning goal. The final score was 2-1.”

When asked about the biggest contributors to the team, coach Johnson declined to single out any one player.

“To single out any player would be doing the team a disservice,” Johnson said. “Every player was a major contributor to our success. We had many starters who played extremely well every game, but we also had players come off the bench and make amazing plays that kept our streak alive.”

The team also bonded outside of practice and competition, often hanging out or attending other MHS events together.

“The team bondings were fun, and the overall team experience was great,” McDonough said. “We did a lot of fun stuff. We went swimming, played soccer games, pool, a lot of fun stuff.”

The team also excelled off the field, as coach Johnson was proud of the high character of his team.

“I was very proud of this group, not only on the field, but in the classroom and in the halls as well,” Johnson said. “The success of Marquette soccer is not only seen in wins and losses, but it is seen in the character of the young men who participate in our program. We hold these young men to high standards, and each player met those expectations.”

With the season over, the players are looking forward to next year, where they will pay for higher stakes on JV or varsity.

“We want to just keep working hard,” Tecklenberg said. “When you want to play soccer, it’s going to be hard sometimes. Running, exercise make sure you keep doing that. Keep fit. For next year, I hope we have a strong team. I hope we all progress during the summer and do some hard work”

Coach Johnson said he hopes the players continue to actively take part in sports in some way throughout their high school careers.

“My hope is that my players continue their athletic careers in some way, whether that is participating in another sport at Marquette, playing club soccer, etc. I hope that each player tries out again next year and that they can continue the amazing standard of success they began this year.”

Regardless of future plans, the coach said he believes that all the team members have learned a valuable lesson about the rewards of hard work from their perfect season.

“During the year, I preached to the team that hard work pays off. After months of hard work, when the final whistle sounded in our final game against Lafayette, I feel the players truly understood that their hard work produced amazing results.”