The Peglegs Push Through to Playoffs

Despite one of their strongest seasons in years, the Peglegs lost their first playoff game, effectively ending their season.

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By Tomas Engquist

The Peglegs, Stuyvesant’s boys’ varsity soccer team, finished off its strong season with an unfortunate loss in the playoffs. Second in the Manhattan A1 division, the Peglegs finished with an 8-2 record during the regular season and 24 team points out of 30, a high standing for any team. With their strong record, the Peglegs hoped to continue their momentum during the playoffs, but ultimately lost 0-1 to Newcomers High School in the first round on Sunday, October 29.

Though the Peglegs were second in their division, behind their primary rival Martin Luther King Jr. High School (MLK), this season’s record is their best divisional standing in three years. Their successes, however, have not come without sacrifices. During their last regular season game on October 24 against Frederick Douglass Academy, the team lost senior and first-string (starter) goalie David Power to an injury. Power took an ugly kick to the face and had to make an early departure, accompanied by the team’s coach, Vincent Miller.

Luckily, both of the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams were playing their last regular season games on adjacent fields. As Power and Miller left in an ambulance, the girls’ varsity soccer team coach, Hugh Francis, took over as the team’s legal coach. Junior Feras Roumie filled in on goal. “[Feras has played in] a couple of games, so I feel confident [about his playing], and I think that he’s ready to step up. He’s going to be our starting goalie next year,” said Miller, prior to their playoff game. Despite the harrowing injury to Power, the team did not give up.

“I think we did well on converting our chances. We scored three goals again against this team that had pretty good defense,” said senior and co-captain Michael Gillow, when asked about what the team did well during their final game. “I think that we were able to shut down their long ball[s], which should help us a lot in the playoffs,” he continued. However, the game was not an easy win. With five remaining minutes and a tie at 2-2, junior Robert Nava was able to score a goal off of a free kick just outside the box, breaking the tie and securing a win for the team.

With the team’s final regular season game exhibiting the individual talents as well as the teamwork of the players, the Peglegs entered the first round of playoffs as a force to be reckoned with. They played their game against Newcomers’s Lions, with a total of 21 team points.

During the playoff game on October 29, the team faced bad weather and a new goalie on the opposing side. Roumie stepped up throughout the game, making a total of six saves, more than the Lions’s goalie. The match was very close between the two teams, but ultimately the Lions were able to score a goal off of a free kick, with the shot sliding just below the crossbar. During the game, the ball was slippery and hard to control, leaving Stuyvesant with a difficult loss.

Despite this being the final season for the senior Peglegs, they have high hopes for the future of the team. While the playoff game left the Peglegs without any goals, they did take several shots throughout the game, four by Nava and one by sophomore Jeremy Moller, illustrating the power of the underclassmen and juniors, something that did not go unnoticed by the captains.

“I think we have a really bright future ahead with a strong core, including Robert, who was a highlight this season with his goal-scoring, sophomores like [Moller] and Lewis [Woloch], and also freshman, especially Amane [Anderson],” said senior and co-captain Caleb Smith-Salzberg, showing his confidence for the years and seasons to come.

Commenting on the season, Miller gave also shoutouts to various players. “[Junior] Jeffrey Shen (left mid) has been playing exceptionally well for us these last couple games. [Senior] Sunny Levitis (right mid) also has been off to a little bit of a slow start early in the season and is now playing very well. One of our better players, Robert Nava [(forward)], who has been great all year long, [...] has done very well for us. He’s set up a lot of opportunities. All three of them play very well, especially together,” Miller said. With their season drawing to a close, the seniors are confident that they will leave the team in good hands, as the juniors and many underclassmen have shown themselves to be reliable and vital to the team this year.

Though the Peglegs were unable to make it as far into the playoffs as they had hoped and they will miss their graduating seniors, their future is loaded with young talent and a strong core.