Unstoppable Lancers boys soccer team dreams of States

Last year’s state finalists return to the field with a four game winning streak and a tie against Westfield.



The 2022 Lancer Varsity soccer team, photographed along with head coach John Millward and team managers, launches a successful season.

Elvin Espinal-Nunez, Guest Writer

The Lewis Varsity boys soccer team is a strong, tenacious group of young players hungry for victory. This varsity team, since becoming state finalists last year, has gained new players but maintained the positive outlook. The Lancers are ready to give it their all to defend their school record. 

Coming up on their first game against Wakefield High School, the team captains, seniors Dean Nguyen (right wing), Dylan Hirmas (defense), and Merlin Torres (midfield) were pumped. They knew this was their senior year, and it was time to give it their all. They had the support of their varsity coach John Millward as they headed into the season opener.

The day of the season opener, on March 14, the Lewis soccer team was ready to face Wakefield High School. On their way to Arlington, the boys already knew how Wakefield played based on last season’s narrow victory. Before game time, Hirmas and Nguyen lead the team in their warm ups and in pre-game pep talk. 

Wakefield was a tough competitor, but the Lancers narrowly beat the Warriors, 1-0 . Nguyen scored the winning goal in the first half and brought the team to victory. 

Three days later, the Lancers traveled to Lake Braddock to face off against the Bruins. Junior Mo Ahmed (forward) and senior Joel Tariku (striker) scored the goals in this match. The Lancers beat the Bruins 2-0 and took home the victory.

Within the third game, the Lancers faced off against the West Springfield Spartans at home. Starting off the match, The Spartans were up in the first half 1-0, but then during the second half, the Lancers turned it up when Nguyen, senior Steven Velasquez (right back), and Tariku got on the score sheet and made the comeback. West Springfield fell short with Lewis winning 3-2. The Varsity team, with senior Bayron Pena Banegas (goalkeeper) keeping a clean sheet. The Lancers have a three-game winning streak despite a recent tie in the Westfield game.

Lewis has yet to face major competitive teams such as Hayfield, Edison, and Annandale, but the Lancers are in great spirits, ready to face any competitor.

“Our team has a lot of talented and fast players, I think any team we face should be worried, ” Nguyen said. 

Hirmas attributes the team’s success to how well the athletes work together. “Our team has chemistry, and with that chemistry, we could cause a lot of damage,” Hirmas said.

This year’s Lancers, composed of a majority of senior players, are happy to see how their rest of the season turns out, yet they are also sad because for many of them, their high school soccer career is coming to an end. 

Senior Merlin Torres will continue his soccer career at Marymount University along with Hirmas, but he will miss his teammates at Lewis.

“What I’m going to miss the most about being part of this team is just going to every practice and just having friends that feel like family. After this season is done, I have to focus on my college career at Marymount University,” Torres said. 

These boys are still focused and have great ambitions for their senior year. The team’s accomplishments and legacy from last season are on the the minds of returning Lancers like senior Mordecai Christensen.

“Our goal is to always try and become State Champs and to also be District and Regional Champs for two years in a row,” Christensen said. 

This young group, full of heart, is ready for battle. The underclassmen athletes are ready to help bring these seniors to victory for their last season, and returning seniors feel bittersweet about the experience.