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WLC Boys Soccer

Warriors  face familiar  playoff rival

  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • The WLC boys soccer team defeated Derryfield 1-0 on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.

Last year’s first-round playoff exit was something of an anomaly for the WLC boys soccer team. The Warriors seem to have righted the ship this year, however; their 10-5-1 regular season record is almost the polar opposite of 2012’s 5-11 finish. After dropping the first game of the season to Sunapee, WLC reeled off 8 straight victories, capping the streak off with a huge 1-0 win over last year’s DIV champion Derryfield. The loss was one of only two all season for the Cougars.

After that win, the Warriors seemed to rest on their laurels a bit.

“It was like ‘We beat Derryfield, what else is there to do?’ coach Steve Martus said. “I think we lost sight of what we were actually trying to do, which was make it to the playoffs and make it to the championship.”

Senior James Edmunds was on the same page as his long-time coach.

“(The streak) was awesome,” Edmunds said, “but then the switch kind of turned off for a little bit there.”

Edmunds is one of a handful of Warrior players who played on both of the recent championship teams back in 2010 and 2011. He and the rest of the seniors have a shot at a landmark third title in four years, a feat not oft repeated (and not likely to be seen at WLC in the future, as the school added a junior varsity program this year, which naturally cuts down on the amount of freshman varsity players).

“The third one would really make it,” Edmunds said. “The first two were with my brother, and those teams had so much skill. We had a backbone going all the way up, and the outside mids were strong, and I feel the same way about this year. It’s just weird having me be a senior now instead of my brother being a senior and me being a freshman or sophomore.”

Edmunds is the youngest in a family soccer legacy that includes his older brothers Nick (’10), and Adam (’12). James’s twin sister Kim is a standout on the WLC girls team as well.

Before they can think too much about that third championship in four years, 6-seed WLC has to contend with last year’s runner-up and perpetual thorn in the side Lisbon, the 11-seed. Lisbon and WLC have faced off in the playoffs a number of times over the last decade, but never on WLC’s home field; their most recent matchup came in 2011, when WLC took advantage of a freak October snow day to travel north and scout their opponents before dispatching Lisbon and heading to the finals. It’s safe to say that this will be a hotly-contested match.

“I think they want us as much as we want them,” Martus said. “We know how they play. They’re a very athletic group of guys. We can get ready for them; we know basically how they play their defense. I think we’re ready for them.”

WLC hosts Lisbon today at 4 p.m.

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