After losing the 2016 championship at home to Boys’ Latin, the JV Boys Soccer team on Tuesday, October 31 defeated the Lakers, 3-0, to reclaim the conference title. The Quakers controlled the tempo from the opening whistle, forcing turnovers and carrying the play. Mason Marchetti ’20, maneuvering the ball through the midfield, opened the scoring in the first quarter and then doubled Friends’ lead in the third with a stunning volley that found the upper corner on the far post. John Groff ’20, scoring off a header from a corner, sealed the win with 8 minutes to play.
Losing to the Lakers at home last year stung, but the team set its sights on redemption back in August, according to coach Tom Durkin. “To see JJ (Groff) score that third goal, after watching what he went through last year when he missed a PK in the finals, was awesome. He's been the captain for two years now, and I'll take him as a leader of my team any day.”
The win capped off an amazing season that saw the team finish with a 13-0-1 overall record, scoring 52 goals and allowing just 3 all year.
Offense was paced throughout the season by Nick Millspaugh ‘20 (11 goals) and Groff (10 goals), and the Marchetti brothers, Julian ‘21 (5 goals) and Mason ’20 (6 goals).
Ultimately the championship team was built from the back. Goalkeeper Pierce Cullen ‘21, center backs Sander Schulhoff ‘20 and Cameron Barnes ‘21, outside backs Noah Tunis ‘20 and Augie Wiggin ‘21, and defensive midfielder Dan Musachio ‘21 held the line all season long. “Eleven clean sheets (shutouts) in 14 games played is simply amazing,” noted Durkin, adding, “we knew going into every game we’d have a chance to get the W simply because, defensively, we were phenomenal. Teams simply weren't given chances at our goal, and when they were, we had a class keeper in Pierce to help out the backline.”