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Boys soccer team looks for redemption, after state runner-up finish
March 16, 2023
The Westside boys soccer team is coming back after a tremendous season last year, when the Warriors reached the state championship final and ultimately fell short to the number one seed Gretna High School.
Westside head coach Mike Dean spoke about the mindset for the team this season, after a successful 15-5 record and a state runner-up finish in 2022.
“Our current mindset is just to compete in every game, keep growing as a group throughout the season, and get back to the state tournament,” Dean said.
After coming within one victory of a state title, sophomore Andy Xiao believes the Warriors can make another run at a championship.
“The mindset going into the season is redemption. Obviously we didn’t end our season the way we wanted last year,” Xiao said, “We’re just looking to redeem ourselves.”
Last year Tristan Alvano led Westside in scoring as a forward on the team. The Husker football recruit has decided to run track this spring and will not be on the soccer team.
Despite the loss of Alvano, Dean believes the Warriors have enough talent returning to have a strong season,
“We have a few adjustments from last year, as Rafael Nolasco-Lopez is a new transfer and will be a big part of our defense. A few bench players from last year will be looking forward to get their chance, like Zac Tonniges and Peter Wanjohi at the forward positions,” Dean said. “What we need to improve is the belief and confidence in themselves. We’ll see if we’ve made this necessary step this spring, as we want to be a consistent challenger for a state championship year in and year out.”
Westside enters the season ranked No. 4 in the Omaha World-Herald pre-season top ten, behind Gretna, Creighton Prep and Lincoln East. Xiao has high hopes for the Warriors this season.
“As a team our ultimate goal is to win state, but we also want to win the metro tournament. Apart from that we want to create meaningful and positive moments together,” Xiao said. “Before every practice coach Mike tells everyone to have positive interactions with each other. Although as a team we want to create meaningful moments with each other, as a team we still have a very strong winning mentality”