Deerfield develops sense of soccer family

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DEERFIELD — Coach Elliot Hurtig credited the Deerfield boys soccer team’s seniors with establishing a sense of family and community that benefitted the group on the field this year.

Deerfield’s season ended Oct. 21 with a 2-0 loss to Fremd in a Class 3A regional semifinal and a final record of 10-8-5. Senior defender Josh Pollack said the team set high goals and didn’t accomplish all of them, but credited the number of wins to the team’s dedication.

“Generally, I thought the season went really well,” Pollack said. “Something big we really focused on was the family community.”

Hurtig said he’s looking forward to the sophomores and juniors taking that legacy and building on it.

“As long as we maintain that sense of family and unity, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish,” junior defender Will Schmetterer said. “We ended the season with a positive record, which was a goal we really wanted to achieve.”

Hurtig said the team — which had nine shutouts this season — played with courage, and the defense consistently won balls in the box.

“No doubt, we had a phenomenal defense this year,” Hurtig said, noting that Schmetterer, Pollack and Mike Such were defensive stars.

“Our goalie really had an exceptional year,” Hurtig added, referring to starting goalkeeper A.J. Schmitz. “So it was very difficult for other teams to score on us.”

According to Hurtig, many of the players also take part in club play and benefitted from solid spring workouts and conditioning. Schmetterer credited Hurtig with teaching players how to behave on and off the field.

“I think the guys really took pride in their defensive ability and I think that they really fought hard for each other,” Hurtig said.

Pollack said the team’s drive came from the players’ desire to win. In past years, the team won just a few games a season, he said.

“We were tired of losing,” Pollack said.

The Warriors were often able to dominate in the air and win balls, which Pollack said gave them confidence to be a more physical team.

The team will lose eight seniors, but Hurtig sounded confident about the program’s depth and pleased with the quality of play he’s seen from sophomores and juniors who have been brought up.

“I think that’s a really positive sign for the program moving forward,” he said, adding that the team’s goal is 15 wins next season.

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