Alisa Delaj, ‘17
Noah Goodman and Rafael Misak are Public Schools Athletics League (PSAL) Soccer All-Stars who recently played in the citywide PSAL All-Star game. Both started playing at a young age and have siblings who play as well. Noah was only four when he started playing and Rafael was five. Noah said the game made him feel “a little nervous because everyone else was so good.” Although Noah felt nervous about performing well, he did not think the game was as demanding as regular season games because this game “did not mean as much as regular season games.” Rafael said that “regular season games were both stressful and enjoyable, usually the assurance of winning made some games enjoyable and others stressful.” He found this game more fun than stressful and liked playing with the best of the city.
Rafael reported that Noah brought “a great defensive effort to the game.” Noah said that Rafael brought “his leadership skills” to the field as he lead the back line, keeping it as organized as possible. If Noah were to replay the game, he would be less self conscious about how he was playing. Rafael stated, “I would have changed that free kick towards the end which I wish I hadn’t taken because my delivery wasn’t that great.”
Like any team of all-stars from different schools, teamwork was bound to be a challenge. A practice before the game was designed to address this problem as the team ran teamwork drills together and got to know one another. In Rafael’s opinion, the practice was awkward since the players did not know each other. He also recalled that during the practice the players wanted to outperform one another and receive recognition from the coach.
The lack of teamwork proved to the team’s downfall. The Manhattan/Bronx team lost to the Brooklyn/Staten Island/Queens team 1-0. Noah and Rafi remembered that since all of the players were all the best amongst their own teams, most of them had the habit of hogging the ball and were not very willing to share it. Noah thought their opponents “had more teamwork than we did.”
Looking ahead, Noah does not think he’ll be playing soccer in college. If he does, it is unlikely it would be at the varsity level. Rafael is also not sure about if he will play at the varisty level. But according to Noah “Rafi is being recruited by several D1 teams.” Rafael has a dream of coaching soccer. Besides soccer, which Rafael regards as more of a “passion” than a favorite sport, he enjoys basketball and track. Noah also enjoys other sports, citing handball and Frisbee among his favorites. Lastly, Noah’s favorite fruit is avocado. Rafael has a very particular taste in fruit, stating, “I only drink smoothies, because my fruit needs to be liquefied.”
Emma Lee, Year 2, and Ariadne Speliotis, Year 2, both PSAL High School All-Stars played in the girls’ PSAL All-Star soccer game recently. Both girls felt very excited and fairly relaxed when they first got out onto the field, but they both felt there was a pressure to do well for the rest of the team. Ariadne said this game was easier than regular season games because during regular season games the BHSEC team “had to deal with the lack of numbers and the players that don’t play regularly.”
Emma brought a “can-do attitude” to the field and made many impressive saves during the game. Ariadne scored an impressive 2 goals for the team even though she was injured and did not think she was “playing as well as [she] usually does.”
If they had the chance to play the game again, Emma said she “wouldn’t have stood outside the box to catch the goal the last 2 seconds.” Ariadne said, “I probably wouldn’t have played defense since that didn’t go very well.” Despite the fact that teamwork is a challenge for any all-star team, this all-star girls team played well together. The girls’ coach put an emphasis on drills that required teamwork during the team’s practice. Emma also noticed that everyone at practice was doing their very best in order to impress the coach.
Ariadne started playing at 4 years old and was lucky enough to have a soccer-playing mom to coach her. Emma started playing at around 10 years old. Looking ahead, Emma plans on playing soccer at the club level since she wants to focus on dance in college. Ariadne plans to play varsity soccer in college.
Outside of soccer, both Emma and Ariadne are interested in art, feminism, and music. Emma added that she enjoys, “eating food.” Both girls enjoy other sports in addition to soccer. Emma said, “I like track but don’t love track.” She also dances seriously, swims as a hobby, and sometimes plays basketball. Ariadne loves track and she used to swim competitively. On a lighter note, Ariadne enjoys pomegranates. Emma likes apples and avocados.