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Banner Year Puts BVT Boys Soccer
'On The Map'
The Blackstone Valley Tech boys soccer season came to an end one game short
of the state championship game, but the Beavers' victory in the Central Mass. title game represents a watershed moment for the program.
"It's unbelievable, it really means a lot," head coach Khalid Al-Haza said. "Nobody saw this coming at the start of the season.
Halfway through the year we started having that hope, but we weren't sure whether we would be able to win the title."
But the Beavers did win it all in the district, knocking off Nipmuc on penalty kicks to move into the state's final four. "Winning the championship puts us on the map and let's everyone know BVT soccer is right there with the best in the area and ready to compete year in and year out," Al- Haza said.
In past seasons, the Beavers have struggled to advance past the first round in the district tournament. This year, buoyed by strong goaltending and a stellar defense, BVT moved through the district bracket despite struggling at times to score.
Keeping up within the Valley Tech athletic community can be as difficult as trying to navigate the tournament field. The
boys' soccer program has also not been able to stand out in a school that has seen girls' soccer, football and girls' volleyball emerge as perennial powerhouses. "Hopefully this will lead to more kids to come to BVT and know that we are not just a football school," Al-Haza said.
The Beavers will need an infusion of new talent next year with nine seniors set to graduate from this season's squad. However, Al-Haza lost 10 players from 2018 to this fall, and the group that returned delivered 16 wins and the district championship.
Goalie Zach Brabham is set to graduate next spring.
Dominic Allegrezza
and Mike Boone,
two players who anchored the lights out BVT defense,
will also be moving on. But Valley Tech has some young strikers who could be ready
to step up to the varsity level next fall and some defenders who will see significantly more playing time next year. "They need
to recognize it's going to be their turn," Al- Haza said.
The coach also hopes his players will look at this season as the bar for future teams, with each striving to live up to the level of success achieved by the 2019 squad. "We hope this sets the level of expectation," Al- Haza said. "And a culture that we can build on for years to come."




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