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The Student News Site of Prospect High School


The Student News Site of Prospect High School



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Young talent soars boys varsity soccer team

Priyanka Shah
Freshman Alan Malikowski dribbling the ball towards the goal.

After losing to Stevenson 2-1 in the second round of the state playoffs last season and ending the year with a record of 3-14-3, the boys soccer team looks to improve during this 2023 season. This year, the team has already beaten Rolling Meadows and Wheeling, two teams that defeated the Knights during the 2022 season. The team currently carries a record of 5-7. To add on to this, the program moved up nine freshmen to junior varsity (JV) and one to varsity. 


“We see tremendous talent in the freshmen group this year,” head soccer coach Michael Andrews said.


This large amount of young talent might be just what the team needs in order to continue to grow as a program. The freshmen and varsity levels are very different, so exposing underclassmen to more advanced gameplay helps prepare them for varsity.


According to JV coach Jason Cohen, being on the junior varsity team allows certain freshmen with a lot of potential to develop their game more than they would if they were placed on the freshmen level. 


“Starting at JV doesn’t always mean ending up at JV, but we are giving the players a chance to prove themselves,”  Cohen said. 


The main focus for Cohen while coaching JV is developing his players so that they can hopefully make the move up to varsity this season or next season. 


“We are giving the freshmen an opportunity to be exposed at a higher level of play, as well as getting them involved in and understanding the way that we run in our program,” Cohen said.  “This gives them the opportunity to develop their skills at a faster pace, and it gives them more of a challenge.” 


For freshman Alan Malikowski, the jump to varsity showed just how important incorporating those skills is. 


“At the varsity level, it is more of a physical game. The kids are way bigger; you have to be a lot stronger and advanced with your skills,” Malikowski said. 


Soccer has played a big role in Malikowski’s life, and it runs through his family. Ever since he can remember, he has been playing soccer, so when he found out he made the varsity roster, emotions were definitely high. 


“Making varsity was my biggest goal ever since last year, and after I found out I did it, I felt really accomplished,” Malikowski said.


Young players like Malikowski will play key roles in the team’s success this year. In soccer, the team plays every school in the east and west side of the Mid Suburban League (MSL) conference, and every game counts towards the conference standings. The team finished fifth last year in the MSL East with a record of 1-8-1. 


“Last year, we struggled with consistency, and we had a lot of injuries that complicated things,” Andrews said. 


However, the team is already 2-1 in conference play this year, and they are currently placed second in the MSL East. This is already a much better start to the season compared to last year, but once the playoffs start, all of that success resets.


“The state tournament is almost like a second season, and everything we do during the season is to prepare us for that,” Andrews said. “Once that starts, it’s single elimination.” 


Like everyone else, the team hopes to make a run in the state playoffs at the end of the season. Last year, the Stevenson team that eliminated them from the state playoffs by only one goal went on to place third at state. 


“Every game is very tough but also very winnable,” Andrews said. Just like last year, we can compete with the best teams in the state; I know we can.” 

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Zoe Brown, Knight TV Sports Director

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    Michal (Mehow) MedesOct 3, 2023 at 11:28 am

    That’s my boy ️️