by Tom Utescher
Germantown Friends’ boys’ soccer line-up will be a mixture of familiar faces and new additions this fall, as the team fills vacancies left by the graduation of six seniors from last season’s squad.
Emerging from their regular-season Friends Schools League games with a record of 4-3, the Tigers wound up in a play-in match for the FSL tournament, where they lost.
Despite the graduation losses, GFS has played some early 2015 contests with a starting line-up that includes all four seniors and three juniors, all of whom have varsity playing experience. The members of the Class of 2015 are Andrea Berghella, Steven Hamel, Felipe Sanz, and Silas Shah.
Last Friday, juniors Noah Gansallo, Ray Hill-Cristol, and Jeremy Berman got the starting nod as the Tigers traveled to Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and fought the Blue Devils to a 0-0 standoff.
Berghella’s brother Pietro, a 6’5” sophomore goalkeeper, was already a starter in the cage for Germantown in 2014, and to start out the match at SCH last week he was joined by classmate Isaac Myran and by talented freshman Sam Webber, who plays a good deal of club soccer outside of school. The Tigers’ starting 11 was rounded out by Abdullah Mowafi, a new member of the junior class whose family just moved to the U.S. from Jordan.
Coming off the GFS bench, at least initially, are juniors Manny Reitano and Rob Fetell, sophomores Liem Buckley, James Wright, Gabe Goldberg, and David Harvey, and Reitano’s brother Seve, a freshman.
Germantown Friends last won the Friends Schools League championship in 2007, and Shipley School has claimed the title in five of the last seven seasons, including 2013 and 2014. It was the 2014 runner-up, Westtown School, that defeated the Tigers in a tournament play-in game last fall.
Sam McIlvain, a member of the GFS faculty, is in his fourth season as the boys’ varsity head coach, having switched over from the girls’ varsity team.