By Devlin Harris ‘21

Brother Rice soccer opens their season this Tuesday, March 16, against local rival Marist. This game will be even more difficult this year without 2019 Gatorade State Player of the Year, Jack Finnegan. Finnegan, who scored over 100 goals in his high school career for Brother Rice, graduated last year.

His departure puts a big hole in the offense. However, the Crusaders are still confident in their attack.

Senior Justin Hardiek said: “This year I think that we can surprise some people and win games. We have big shoes to fill with Jack being gone but I think we are up for the challenge.” Brother Rice has a brutal schedule this year so their offense will be pushed to its limit.

Brother Rice soccer have been diligent in following all COVID-19 guidelines. Coach Prunckle has made it very clear to the lads that they cannot afford to be lax in following the rules.

Senior Matt Rogers said: “Coach has done a great job keeping us updated on the ever changing regulations. We have been wearing our masks during practices and in the locker room. He has also broken us up into groups to help with contact tracing incase of any issues.” With such a short season, any COVID issues could mean missing three or four games so everyone has been staying safe and precautious.

Brother Rice soccer has had to get into match shape very quickly. In a standard season, they practice for a few weeks before their first official game. Most years the season is kicked off with a few friendly matches to help everyone get to match fitness. Without the extra time and games, players have had to rush to be fit and ready to compete. This has changed how the players prepare for the season.

Senior Max Guzman said, “With the season being short and compact we must be efficient in what we do. We also must work harder and faster so we can be ready to compete when game day comes.” These changes are not ideal, but they are necessary for this special season.

Brother Rice is ready to surprise the Catholic League. The team is confident they can continue to cause upsets and win important games even after the departure of Finnegan.