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Soccer aims for personal growth after 1st-round exit

Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | The Brophy soccer team practices during 7th period at Brophy Sports Complex.
Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | The Brophy soccer team practices during 7th period at the Brophy Sports Complex.

By Jack Davis ’19

Brophy walked off the field for the last time Feb. 3 after No. 16-seed Desert Vista beat the top-seeded Broncos 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs.

Since the upset, Brophy has been working to put themselves in the position to contend again.

This is Mr. Paul Allen ’03‘s first season as the head coach for the team, taking over for Mr. Noah Lewkowitz ’98, who moved to Boston.

“I’ve been with Brophy soccer for nine years so being able to learn from soccer minds such as [Mr.] Noah [Lewkowitz] and [Mr.] Marc Kelly ’87 has enabled me to learn in the process,” Mr. Allen said. “I’m hoping that I can bring something new to the table with some new assistants and we can have a great season.”

“The team’s been working hard, we’re in the weight room two days a week, we’re on the field two days a week,” Mr. Allen said. “Nothing has been solidified as far as who’s on the team, but we’re putting in a lot of time in the offseason so that we can be ready to go when preseason comes.”

Brophy starts the year off with a difficult schedule, highlighted by the prestigious San Clemente tournament.

“The beginning of the year is always tough for us,” Mr. Allen said before the season. “We have a preseason game and one or two games before we travel to San Clemente, where there’s eight top-20 teams in the nation playing against each other.”

Brophy’s returning a significant portion of last year’s top-seeded team, and Mr. Allen said he expects personal growth from them.

“I’m excited to see how the kids gel,” Mr. Allen said. “We’ve got nine returners, possibly more. It will be exciting to see how they grow as individuals and how we bring it together as a team.”

Among those returners is striker and California-Santa Barbara verbal commit Carter Clemmensen ’18.

Mr. Allen said that he anticipates a strong season from his junior forward.

“I expect Carter to continue doing what he’s doing,” Mr. Allen said. “Clemmensen was all-state first team and one of the states leading goal scorers. I think he scored 25 plus goals last year and he’s coming back as a bigger, stronger junior with a Division 1 commitment.”

However, Clemmensen is only one part of a balanced scoring attack.

“I think we’ll be a very well-rounded team where everyone is scoring at will,” he added.

Hamilton and Corona del Sol present significant challenges to Brophy on the road to a state title.

“Hamilton and Corona del Sol [are our biggest competition],” Mr. Allen said. “Both teams have academy players on their team that are returning that were all-state players. They should be very deep.”

Mr. Allen has his sights set on a higher goal than a state championship, but wants growth from his players first.

“I would love to win a national title, something that hasn’t been done here in the state of Arizona,” he said. “We had a runner-up in 2010. The ultimate goal is just to have a good season for the kids to develop and get better. If we can win along the way, that’s great, but I would like to see them grow as players and individuals.”

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