Boys soccer prevented from defending their NYSAIS crown


Charlie Cooper

THE BOYS SOCCER TEAM gathers for a pre-game huddle. Led by senior captains Adul Samon and centerback David Ferrando, the team has put together their second consecutive double digit win season, entering playoffs with a 11-2-2 record. The team has gone undefeated against NYSAIS opponents but unfortunately lost their last FAA regular season game— falling to fifth place. The team will travel Monday, November 7 for the quarterfinal game.

Noah Kassell-Yung, Lead Sports Editor

A year after securing the school’s first ever New York State Association of Independent School (NYSAIS) championship, the Masters boys soccer team is not eligible to defend their title. Masters athletics teams participate in two competitions: the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) and NYSAIS; due to scheduling changes, the tournaments for these two competitions coincide, preventing the teams from competing in both. 

“The team thought we were going to be able to defend that title, that championship, and that’s what we wanted to do because we worked so hard to win that trophy,” David Ferrando, senior and captain of the boys varsity team, said. “It was disappointing to find out that we wouldn’t be able to compete; knowing that another team will take our title without us getting a chance to defend it.”

“Every team can benefit from playing teams from various different skill levels including their level or better and teams with more experience,” said Ashleigh Woodruff, senior captain of the girls varsity volleyball team. “It pushes teams to be better athletes and competitors and we lost a bit of that in losing NYSAIS”.

The FAA is a league made up of 1210 schools ranging from Dobbs Ferry to Greenwich, with the teams participating in a regular season before a postseason. NYSAIS is the collection of all the independent schools in New York, and while there isn’t a regular season league, each year there is a tournament with the best schools in the region being placed in a bracket, with the winner being crowned the best independent school in the state.

Last fall, the boys soccer team finished second in the FAA, and were given the first seed in the NYSAIS tournament. The two tournaments were scheduled a week apart, so the soccer team was able to compete- and win NYSAIS, before participating in the FAA playoffs the following week. 

Traditionally the NYSAIS final has been held at Manhattanville college for both the boys and girls soccer teams, but due to scheduling changes, the final can no longer be held at that location. According to Neil Jaggernauth, the assistant coach of the boys varsity team, the final was moved to Randall’s Island where due to permit and regulations, the only time the game could be played was on Monday, November 7th. The same day that the FAA quarter finals are held. This meant that the soccer teams were not able to compete in both tournaments due to NYSAIS not allowing teams to play twice within 36 hours. 

With boys soccer, girls soccer, and girls volleyball all setting their sights on postseason play, this scheduling dilemma will pose a problem for the teams. Not only will there only be one tournament, the competitiveness of the non-league games will also take a hit. 

“Not having a NYSAIS postseason takes some of the competitiveness out of the games knowing that each game doesn’t necessarily count for a tournament spot; however, this is a very competitive program that knows what winning feels like and so we’re trying to always continue to win and to expand our goals to win more championships, ” Ferrando said.