St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes may be a small school in Alexandria, but the Saints featured some of the best soccer in the state this past season.
Head Coach Bo Amoto came into this year trying to build off the 8-7-4 record from 2010. His team ended this season with a far better record at 16-4-0. The Saints were able to take home the IAC championsip, after amounting an 8-2-0 record in the conference on the year. Things were going well for the St. Stephen's in the VISAA tournament, as they went to the title game against Episcopal.
“We went one up and then we gave away a couple of soft goals. Episcopal was the better team on the night,” said Amoto.
Though the Saints could not top off the season with the state title, Amoto was still proud of his team.
“They’re young men and they’re going to make mistakes and that’s OK,” said Amoto.
He was not only proud of the way they played, but the way they maintained themselves on the pitch.
“We were very humble. Even the better players never had any arrogance. And to be around people like that in the modern era of sport, when all you ever see on television is guys who want to celebrate like they’re the best and it’s all about ‘Me! Me! Me!’ This team was like a throwback to the 70’s and 80’s when it was all about the team, being proud of being a part of something,” said Amoto.
Amoto was also very pleased about how the team maintained themselves off of the field. Amoto said none of the older players made their younger counterparts pick up after their equipment, and vocally supported one another during the season.
The team had their end of the year banquet on Thursday evening, and Amoto was able to tell his players exactly how he felt about his group of players.
“We had a tight, tight group. I raised my hat to those people at the awards banquet. I said I’ve had players who were individually better than some of those kids, but not as humble and not as hard working as the players there. They changed our program,” said Amoto.
And as for the secret to the Saints’ success this year, Amoto himself got involved in practices, as he believed they could do well with opponents in the IAC and VISAA if they could keep up with him on the ball.
“If they can win the ball off of me in practice, they can win the ball off of someone in a different jersey,” said Amoto.
Amoto was cautious about looking ahead to next season, though he hoped for more of the same for seasons to come.