The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
The562’s soccer coverage for the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Beach Futbol Club.
The562’s coverage of Saints athletics is sponsored in part by St. Anthony High School.
The St. Anthony boys’ soccer team will be road warriors again this season. With Clark Field still under construction, the Saints will play all of their games on the road.
“We did it last year so it should be no different,” coach Aaron Rodriguez said. “We just use local community parks and make it work. I think the boys actually like it a lot because they get to go on the bus and have fun. It’s something they actually look forward to.”
The Saints have a young roster this year but will rely on a solid group of returning starters led by goalkeeper Blake Collins, center back Andrew Kamienski and forward Jacob Haskill. However, guys like Kamienski won’t join the team until December due to club commitments with the Beach FC ECNL team.
“It’s very different,” Kamienski said, comparing club and high school. “It’s more open and you have a lot of time (on the ball) and you can work with your teammates. Club is fast with people playing everywhere. (In high school game) you feel much more secure. You can pass and move without feeling much pressure.”
Kamienski will be joined in the back by returner Diego Alcala who is one of the strongest players on the squad.
In the midfield, returning sophomores Ian Gutierrez and Christian Martin will be running the show. Martin will primarily play on the wing and try to feed forwards like Haskill and Christian Davila.
A huge addition for the Saints will be Mater Dei transfer Naveed Tate. He will play in the back with the 6’2” Kamienski.
“He’s like me in a way, he has good composure, is safe on the ball and he knows what he’s doing,” Kamienski said of Tate, who also plays for a Beach FC team.
Their vision and understanding of the game and Rodriguez’ scheme will be key to St. Anthony’s success.
“Our system really benefits them,” Rodriguez said. “If they play within it they can use their individual strengths regardless of position to benefit the team. It’s all about possession and tactical acknowledgment and understanding from the players. It’s more team bonding and positional awareness.”
Rodriguez said he thinks the league games against La Salle, Bosco Tech and St. Genevieve will be the most important and challenging of the year for his Saints. However, he kept the schedule as light as possible with no tournaments on the docket.
“I know it’s going to take a big toll on their bodies,” Rodriguez said.