A Big Leg Up: The Story of the 2021 Boys Varsity Soccer Team

A Big Leg Up: The Story of the 2021 Boys Varsity Soccer Team

Abigail Lott, Staff Writer

It was a chilly Saturday afternoon on the boys’ varsity field. The bleachers were packed with screaming fans in winter attire hoping for a win. For many, this seemed like a usual occurrence, but it was more important than that. A tournament game was about to begin. 

Falmouth Academy has had periods of success for the boys’ soccer team. From 2001 to 2005, they won the S.E.N.E.I.S.A.A. (South-Eastern New England Independent School Athletic Association) League Championship twice and appeared in the New England Private School Tournament three times. While there have been other successful teams in previous years, the Falmouth Academy Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team this year has done something that no other team has done. The team qualified for the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) Division 5 State Tournament. 

Falmouth Academy has been part of the Cape and Islands Lighthouse Division since 2014. The league consists of teams on and near Cape Cod and can qualify for MIAA tournaments after the regular season.

This year the team was led by Head Coach Patrick Kennedy and Assistant Coach Matt Barnes. The Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team finished the season with eight wins, three losses, and five ties for all games. They had a record of five wins, one loss, and four ties in league games and placed second in the Cape and Islands Lighthouse Division. 

“We accomplished a lot, and I think we did a great job overall,” said Ben Angell ’24 when asked about the team’s performance. 

The boy’s varsity soccer team consisted of:

Goalie: Michael Zitomer ’22

Defenders: Jack Butler ’22, Clint McDowell ’22, Ben Mihalovich ’22, Max Richins ’22, Noah McCabe ’23, and Benjamin Angell ’24

Midfielders: Howard Keeler ’22, Will McCabe ’22, Ben Gulmann ’23, Roberto Marzot ’23, Kevin Peters ’23, Gus McGuire ’24, Ethan Plotkin ’25, Charlie Rickard ’25, and John Clark ’26

Strikers: Cody Feldott ’22, Derrick Sterling ’22, Luke Xiang ’23, and Max Ridl ’26

The team started the season strong with a 4-1 win over Cape Cod Tech. Cody skillfully scored three goals and Howard had a goal and an assist.

  “It gave us much-needed confidence,” said Mr. Kennedy. 

They took that confidence through the rest of their games. Another exciting game they played was on October 14th vs. Sturgis East. As the game tied with a couple of minutes remaining, Cody drew a penalty kick and Roberto made the shot. Falmouth Academy came away with a 2-1 win. Mr. Kennedy mentioned that it propelled the rest of the season in the right direction.

They kept going in the right direction after the Surgist East game with wins against Rising Tide, Cape Cod Academy, and St. John Paul. It was not a smooth road with losses to Cape Cod Tech and Nantucket. However, it all led up to an exciting final regular-season matchup against eventual league winners Sturgis West. 

In the game, which fell on Halloween, the boys fell 1-0 a few minutes after halftime. The Mariner’s came back though, with goals from  Cody, Ben Gulmann, and Roberto for a 3-1 victory. Mr. Kennedy said it was the best game they played all season.

In the Cape and Island Lighthouse Division, Roberto scored the most goals of any player. Cody, Roberto, and Max Richins were put on the League All-Stars Team, with Will as an honorable mention. Jack won an Individual Sportsmanship Award. Cody got voted the league’s Most Valuable Player as well.

When asked about the contributions of the players, head coach Patrick Kennedy immediately mentioned the nine seniors who are on the team. 

“I am fortunate enough to take over a team with veterans like that. The seniors have shown the younger players what it takes to win. They also have a lot of experience,” said Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy mentioned the hard work of non-seniors: highlighting Roberto, Noah, Ben Gulmann, Ben Angell, and Gus as players who contributed to their success. 

The team really bonded over the course of the season, giving each other shout-outs at All-School-Meeting.

“We owe our success mainly to Cody, Max, Will, Roberto, and our entire defensive line,” said goalie Michael. 

Michael was mentioned by fellow teammates Max Richins and Roberto for making incredible saves. 

“He’s saved the game so many times,” said Roberto. 

The players also really appreciate the work of their two coaches: Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Barnes. 

“They’re very good coaches. You get to know them as friends,” said Max Richins. 

“They let us do our thing as experienced players and coach us when needed,” added Roberto. 

“We are extremely excited. The boys are very excited to prove that they belong and are up for the challenge,” said Mr. Kennedy after finding out that the boys qualified for the MIAA Division 5 State Tournament. 

The Division 5 State Tournament had 43 teams competing. For their first playoff game, Falmouth Academy faced Pathfinder Regional Technical High School at home. 

The game started with a goal from the opposing team, Pathfinder, that went into the upper right corner of the net. But the boys fought back, with a goal from Cody Feldott where he shot the ball near the goalie and had it roll into the opposite side of the net. Roberto Marzot scored with a header from a beautiful pass by Noah. By halftime, the Mariners were up 3-1 with another goal from Cody Feldott. 

The second half was difficult for the boys, although they handled it very well. After Pathfinder tied the game up, Michael Zitomer made two amazing saves to keep Falmouth Academy in the game. The second half ended and overtime would decide the boys’ fate. 

About five minutes into overtime, a pass from Roberto brought Cody near the goal with a chance to score. Cody kicked the ball past the goalie to the opposite side of the net to solidify a Falmouth Academy victory. Cody got mobbed by his fellow teammates, and the stands of FA supporters went wild. They moved on to the Round of 16. 

“It was amazing. It was probably one of the best feelings I’ve felt throughout my sports career, and I’m sure the rest of the team feels the same way,” said Michael. 

Despite their efforts, the FA boys, unfortunately, lost their second tournament game against number two seed Millis.

Even though they lost in the second round, the boy’s varsity soccer team has accomplished a lot this season.  All members of the team should be proud of their hard work and for cementing themselves into Falmouth Academy’s history.