Varsity Boys Soccer Team Plays in the State Semifinals

Elias Tamer and Ishaan Tipirneni

This year, the Lexington High School Boys’ Varsity Soccer team played in the state semifinals for the fourth time in the team’s history. 

The team won its first playoff game against Milford, 2-1, and their second playoff game against Marshfield, 2-1. Then, the team went on to win the state quarter-finals against Leominster in a penalty shootout. While the team did lose 1-0 in the semifinals against Brookline, they experienced multiple victories throughout the season.

Cruz Ortiz DeRosa, a junior captain, credits the team’s success to their close team bonding. 

“It’s probably one of the best atmospheres I’ve been on as a team my whole life. Everyone is friends, everyone is cool with each other. I mean we used to spend time at team dinners until 12:30, 1 A.M. just talking to each other,” Ortiz DeRosa said. 

Additionally, Dastan Pakyari, the LHS Boys Soccer Coach, indicated that the captains served as role models for the team. 

“They’ve taken a lot of responsibility. The role of the captain is up to the person in that role and how much they want to do with it. I think the captains this year took it above and beyond, and I think they took it on themselves to be responsible, not just with the team, but for anyone in the program,” Pakyari said. 

Liam Keis, a sophomore at LHS and the team’s center-midfielder, also emphasized the captains’ role in boosting morale. 

“After any loss they were never putting each other down, everyone was trying to pick each other back up and to build back, especially during the regular season,” Keis said.

In addition, the players acknowledged the importance of the fan turnout at the games.

“I thought there were a lot of fans, especially at Leominster. It was their home field, but I thought we had more fans. It was in the freezing cold and wind. I thought it was very impressive,” Keis said.

Pakyari echoed this sentiment. 

“It was phenomenal. We have always had pretty good support from these fans especially come playoff time when we need it. I mean you can see how many kids poured on the field after the overtime win against Milford and the PK [penalty kick] shootout at Leominster,” Pakyari said.

As an LHS soccer team alumni, Paykari reflected on the experience. 

“It’s more than just having success. I think the friendships and the memories that you make through that process you hold on for a lifetime, those never go away…I think I attribute a lot of who I am today as a person to the experiences I had back playing soccer at the high school,” Pakyari said.