[Photo by Corbin Olsen]
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Coach Jeff Geller has been the boys varsity soccer coach at Saratoga Springs High School since 2001. Geller has been playing soccer for as long as he can remember. He has played everything from travel soccer, being fortunate enough to travel the USA and Europe, high school soccer, and collegiately at Siena College.
“Soccer is an amazing game because it takes an amazing amount of both technical skill and tactical awareness to be successful. While it’s great to be big, fast, and strong, it’s more important to have a great touch on the ball and make positive decisions quickly. While many people consider soccer ‘boring’ due to the low score-lines, I find the hundreds of ‘mini-battles’ within the game to be very exciting,” Geller explained.
The captains of this year’s team were Simon Smith, Conor Murphy, and Aidan O’Malley. Simon Smith, Aidan Rice, and Evan Farr also made first team Suburban Council; Conor Murphy made second team Suburban Council, and Aidan O’Malley made third team Suburban Council.
This season as a whole was described as “great” due to the fact that the team have spent numerous years playing club soccer and preparing themselves for this season.
Geller had nothing but positive things to say about his players and coaching staff.
“In the attack, Aidan Rice was a crafty forward to the ball, Eren Kilic was always a threat with his tough play, and Luke Clark was strong using his physical presence to keep the ball. Our midfield trip of Aidan O’Malley, Simon Smith and Evan Farr worked well together to possess the ball and find ways to advance the ball forward when it presented itself. We had a stellar defensive group this year with Conor Murphy, Jon Irons, Ryan Postlethwait, and Ben Leombruno giving 100% every match to keep the ball out of the Blue Streaks net. Goalkeeper Alex Henderson often had little to do in the back due to the strong defense but would often come up huge when called upon. The player who impressed the coaching staff tremendously this year was TJ Bradley, perhaps one of the fastest players in Section II, who would come out of nowhere to save the day for us in the back with his blazing speed,” Geller commended.
On the field, the team is described as a “well-oiled machine,” and off the field, the boys are known to be excellent students and very respectful young adults.
The team won the Suburban Council Championship with a record of 12-1-2, with a tie in the first round of Sectionals. They defeated La Salle in the quarterfinals and tied CBA in the semi-finals. After regulation and two overtime periods, the Blue Streaks lost 4-3 in penalty kicks that would decide who would advance to the Sectional Championship game.
“It was a heartbreaking way to end the season but we had our chances during the match to win in regulation but were unable to convert. Our final overall record was 13-1-3,” Geller said.
“Our goal is always to fight for a Suburban Council Championship and hopefully win a Section II title. We have been to the Section II semifinals the past three seasons, something no other team in the Suburban Council has accomplished. We have a huge core of juniors and sophomores returning next season so we will strive to replicate this season’s accomplishments or perhaps make it even further. If the boys continue to work hard in the off-season and come back next season ready to compete, I look forward to great things. It was a pleasure to coach this group of fine, young, student-athletes” Geller stated.