Monticello boys soccer’s senior night took a lot longer than usual Monday night.
That’s because it felt like it was the entire roster being honored.
“It started when they were sophomores but they’ve been improving in each game after we started a little on the rocky side,” said Monticello coach David Rivera. “But commitment, practice and discipline, the boys always had it. The team chemistry has always been there and I’m proud of them because they’ve stuck it out.”
Those sophomores stuck together and became the group of 12 seniors that the Mustangs honored Monday night and that have so far put together a fantastic season. Monticello kept that run going Monday with an 8-0 victory over Louisa County.
“At times there have been some games where we’re slow to start but I’m proud of our boys tonight,” Rivera said. “Louisa is a tough team to beat because we played them at home and it was just 2-0 at half, so take nothing away from them.”
Those seniors delivered against the Lions, with Chase Hummel scoring twice and Andrew Tombs and Hugo Marquez scoring once each. But the Mustangs also got contributions from junior Carlos Armengol who notched a hat trick and sophomore Rocco Fleming who scored once.
The team’s senior backbone helped spark the impressive run the Mustangs have enjoyed, highlighted by a sweep of their matchups with Albemarle capped by a 1-0 result on May 27. Those seniors have simply seen a little bit of everything at this point and don’t back down from games where the challenge is ramped up in a district that’s arguably one of the best in the state and loaded with state title contenders like AHS, Western and Charlottesville. That’s led the Mustangs to play with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder.
“We do thrive on that,” Rivera said. “But we try and play nice soccer, we always try and do that and it’s all the players. I coach, but they play the game, they work in practice.”
Will Acgtblu, a sophomore, had the game-winning goal in that second win over Albemarle, and it’s clear that the Mustangs can get goals from all over the lineup. They’ll need some of that magic later this week if they’re going to knock off an unbeaten Charlottesville squad that they’ll face Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the squad’s regular season finale.
“I’m glad we’ve improved during the season and it looks like we’ll finish strong here and I hope we get a good result Thursday against Charlottesville,” Rivera said.