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Tigers earn season honors
soccer all-region
Four Tigers earned All-Region 3-AAAAA first team honors, (l-r): Chris Cardon, region offensive player of the year Chris Schuster, Michael Griffin and Daniel Lee. - photo by By Jimmy Currier
Bradwell Institute’s boys soccer team made history this season, winning its first state playoff game in school history — a 3-1 win against Union Grove.
The Tigers finished second in Region 3-AAAAA at 11-3 and 12-4 overall.
Four of the players instrumental to the team’s success caught the attention of region coaches and earned All-Region first team honors.
Chris Schuster, a freshman, also picked up the Offensive Player of the Year Award. The striker scored 25 goals to lead the region.
“I want to thank my team. I could not do it without them,” he said. “I can’t believe I am player of the year. This is unexpected.”
Schuster worked hard for the honor, staying after practice to work on his shots with fellow teammates Chris Cardon (sweeper) and Michael Griffin (goal keeper), who also earned All-Region honors.
Mid-fielder Daniel Lee also joins the All-Region team.
Lee, who scored a goal in the historic win over Union Grove, credited the team’s success to teamwork.
“I’ve been playing for four years now and we haven’t had a team this focused on winning,” he said. “Previous years, it was about individuals, but this year it was about the team. That’s what made us get this far and make history.”
While Schuster was racking up goals and Lee was excelling in the mid-field, Cardon and Griffin were stopping teams from scoring.
The duo led the defense to nine shutouts and a goals-against-average of .7.
“We had a good season because the defense stepped up with me and Mikey heading it all up,” Cardon said. “We had a supporting cast and I knew if anything got by me I could count on Mikey.”
Griffin was surprised to earn the honor.
“I wasn’t expecting anything like this,” he said. “All the hard work paid off we put in during the season.”
Bradwell coach Greg Cooke is proud of the boys for their accomplishments.
“They are good leaders on the team and brought a great work ethic,” he said. “They were focused on bringing the team together and it was an issue of teamwork all season long. They set examples by being leaders in practice and on the field in games, but overall as students. They are respected by their peers and their fellow players.
Though Schuster returns next season for the Tigers, Cooke loses the other three to graduation.
“It’s a great loss to see these three seniors go that added so much to the program, but they showed the younger players what they can strive to do on the team, in school and in the future for soccer,” Cooke said. “It was great to have these three seniors and it’s hard to see them go.”
The players weren’t just teammates and classmates but also friends and Cooke said that added to the team’s success.
“They have a great friendship and relationship with one another and that speaks volumes about how the team performs,” he said. “They were self-sacrificing and worked for the team, not the individual. Hopefully, we will have the same kind of spirit next year. It’s up to the juniors and sophomores to step up and replace these shoes, really big shoes to fill.
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