Sports

Underdogs Dominate the Soccer Field

AUDREY HAUSBERGER

Suneal Lall’s and Kurt Mahlke’s hard work pays off this soccer season

With a nasty left foot and the athleticism for spectacular saves, junior Kurt Mahlke and senior Suneal Lall have been two masterminds on the soccer field.
Defeating Old Lyme and Old Saybrook, both teams who have impressive track records in soccer, and playing a hard fought game against Stonington, another challenging competitor, the team as a whole proves they can hold their own.
Last season’s varsity team won the division title, made semi-finals in the ECCs, and reached the second round in States. This year’s team is looking to do nothing less if not more.
Despite multiple injuries and an overwhelming hot start to the season, the team’s record stands strong at 8-2 thanks to the motivated athletes that represent the Viking name well like Mahlke and Lall.
“All the kids are great kids. That is first and foremost. They are willing to learn. They look for ways to improve all the time, and they are hard workers,” said varsity coach Paul Christensen.
While the whole team contributes to each of the victories, Mahlke and Lall have been two significant contributors to the teams triumphs. Playing as a center midfielder, Mahlke has scored six goals, has two assist, and is second lead scorer behind senior and captain Alec Kosinski. Ready to protect his territory, Lall plays as goalie and has 49 saves and only nine goals scored against him.
Both players have excelled in their high school soccer careers this season and have seen their hard work and dedication to the game pay off.
“Last year I wasn’t getting much playing time because I was much smaller than the guys who started instead of me. Over the summer I worked to get stronger and more physical, and coach sees that,” said Mahlke.
Both Mahlke and Lall have seen a major increase in their playing time and continue to be significant factors to the team.
“Last year I was able to practice with the varsity team and prove to Wally that I am worthy candidate to play this year,” said Lall.
Since proving their talent on the field to coach Christensen, Lall and Mahlke have had many tough saves and impressive goals. In their first game against Waterford the rivals fought a close game with the Vikings coming out with the win of 2-1. Lall said he made a save that the crowd went wild for.
“I personally didn’t really think it was that special of a save, but the crowd was very hype. It sounded like everyone was cheering, even the Waterford fans,” said Lall
While Lall and Mahlke have made star plays, the whole team does not fail when it comes to bonding on the field, playing as one unit, and supporting one another.
“I can’t take all the credit for my goals. My teammates were able to create the chances and I have just been lucky to be the one too finish them. We have a very talented team and a good team chemistry,” said Mahlke.

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