Sewanhaka boys soccer coach Peter Burgess wasn’t sure how long his team’s playoff drought was when it was broken last season.
“Somebody said it was 13 years,” said Burgess, whose entering his fourth year coaching varsity. “But I think it was five or six, I don’t know maybe longer.”
But one thing’s for certain, he wants to keep last year’s momentum going.
The Indians, who started their season with a 3-0 loss at Hewlett, will aim for their second straight trip to the playoffs this year.
A postseason berth could be tough for the Indians, who graduated six starters and 15 players altogether from last year’s team. Even with only three seniors heading into the season, Burgess is still optimistic.
“We just need to build a chemistry with all the guys on the field, we got to play with confidence, don’t try to do too much,” said Burgess. “What’s really nice about these kids, is that they’re fun to watch, they play soccer the right way.”
Highlighting Sewanhaka’s young nucleus is freshmen goalie Nicholas Gaviria, who’s a first-time varsity starter.
“He’s impressive,” Burgess said. “He’s taking the leadership role head on. He’s poised, a good leader, communicates with his defenders.”
One of those defenders is Gaviria’s brother, Jonathan, a junior.
“He’s a really smart player,” said Burgess of Jonathan. “He’s a good leader in the back, tall, fast occupies a lot of space. “
Joining Jonathan in the backfield will be senior captain Mike Molina. The midfield will feature juniors Giancarlo Cano and Danny Corado.
“Giancarlo distributes the ball well, he can shoot,” Burgess said. “Danny is very skilled, scored a couple of big goals for us last year. He’s pretty good in set pieces, shooting a free kick.”
The offense is currently without its two leading goal scorers from last year in juniors Rasheed Bryan and Luis Chaverra. Burgess says he’s unsure if they will play this year because of reasons that are out of his control.
But if one or both return, Burgess feels they’ll add some much-needed scoring to the offense and allow the Indians to compete with anybody this year. It was Chaverra, who scored the game-winning overtime goal in an opening round playoff win against West Hempstead a year ago.
But with those two players sidelined, the offense will rely on junior forwards Kevin Gillis and Gabriel Serrano for scoring. Sewanhaka’s next varsity game will be at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at home versus Carey. The next JV game will be away on Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m. against Carey.