Passion and Dedication Carry the Peglegs into the Playoffs

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Issue 4, Volume 110

By Shivali Korgaonkar, Aki Yamaguchi 

Tensions rise as the Columbia Secondary kicker cautiously places the ball in front of the goal, preparing to take his penalty kick. With only a 3-2 lead, the Stuyvesant Peglegs know this play is vital to the outcome of the game. Having put their hearts and souls into the arduous match, the boys deserve this win, and this moment could be the determining factor for the game. Both teams gather around the 18-yard box, ready to clear or score off the rebound. The pressure lies on senior goalie Stefan Sorobay to save the day for the Peglegs. He can either dive right and make the save or let the ball slip by him. The referee blows his whistle, initiating the play, and the striker runs up to strike the soccer ball. All eyes follow the ball as it spins through the air and rebounds off a diving Sorobay. Once again the ball is shot to the goal but he makes another save, bouncing the ball out. The ball is up for a 50/50 shot when Sorobay dives for it, securing the ball while the Peglegs go crazy. The Peglegs have won this 90-minute thriller that would prove dividends in clinching a playoff spot and favorable seed.

With a 7-3 record, the Peglegs have had a tremendous regular season. Senior captains Jeremy Moller and Henry Kotkin came into the year with the desire to improve and learn from last year’s mistakes in order to lead the team into the playoffs. With three games left to spare, the Peglegs clinched a playoff berth. Now, instead of settling with this outcome, the captains continue to set goals for themselves and their teammates. Kotkin says, “We want to win one of our last two games to clinch a top 16 seed in the city, and our number one priority this season is making it out of the first round of playoffs.” For the past three years, the Peglegs have been unable to make it past the first round of playoffs, a feat these captains hope to overcome.

Standing out in a tough division with competitors like Beacon HS and MLK, the Peglegs are an outstanding team and believe they have an edge over many teams. Kotkin said, “We have a lot of exceptional players. Unlike many PSAL teams, we play like a team instead of relying on an individual. We sometimes struggle against bigger teams because we're not that tall or physical, but I think we overcome it pretty well with our heart and desire.” In a game against rival Washington Irving, the Peglegs faced a heartbreaking 3-2 loss on their home field, as parents and students watched to support their school. With over nine yellow cards given out, mainly to Stuyvesant, both teams fought their hardest to secure a win, but Washington came out on top. Despite the undesirable outcome, Moller said, “The dedication and passion displayed by the team was amazing, and it’s that same heart that we had then that we need going into playoffs.”

The path to achieving their goals will not be an easy one, but the Peglegs are willing to put in the time and effort. The bond between the boys continues to grow and shape them into a better team on and off the field. They continue to practice and push their limits further and further with only one driving force: passion. How far the Peglegs’ immense desire will take them into playoffs remains to be seen.