Boys soccer makes team history


Courtesy of Patrick Johnson

Price Wilson, Brady Scheinfeld, Lathan Johnson, and Bryce Bowman take position in the box to defend a corner against McIntosh in the State Quarterfinals.

Carolyn Harty

After a historic playoff run, the boys soccer team fell to Dalton in the state finals, losing 2-0 in overtime.

The Knights had early-season success, going 5-0 until their first loss to Alpharetta. The boys went 8-0 in region play, becoming region champions, finishing 17-5 overall beating traditional soccer powers like Lovett, Kell and McIntosh. 

“We started off slow, and I could tell that we didn’t have as much chemistry as we thought we would because we had a lot of transfers,” junior Brady Scheinfeld said. “Going on, we tended to win more of the home games and went further than we thought in the playoffs. We had a spark in our home games and got lucky with our coin tosses, then beat the number eight team in the country, McIntosh.” 

Senior co-captain Bryce Bowman views this season as a success, and is leaving a positive mark on the team before playing Division 2 soccer at Colorado School of Mines. 

“The season was great,” Bowman said. “That may have been the best Midtown boys team we have ever had, and it was a ton of fun making an unexpected run. I think the team just had better chemistry than we did last year, and it showed.” 

With a prominent leadership role on the team, Bowman helped keep emotions in check on and off the field, improving their chemistry and overall play. 

“My role as captain was mostly to just keep the team together during the heated moments,” Bowman said. “We had a lot of different types of personalities on the team, and it was really important that we were fighting together as a team and not fighting with each other. It took us a while, but by the end of the season, we were much more cohesive, and it really improved our chances of making a deep run in the playoffs.”

Scheinfeld says further success will come from finishing opportunities and keeping the energy up all game. 

“When you get that far in the playoffs, you have to finish your chances,” Scheinfeld said. “The team missed two or three key opportunities that could have changed the course of the game, and I think, later in the game, we lost some of our spark and energy and stopped running for each other. I was forced to kick the ball long a few times because of how gassed we were, so it became a bit of a fatigue thing with their tactics being a little better than ours, especially towards the end of the game.” 

Bowman shares similar thoughts, saying energy was a big component of the Knights short-coming in the state final. 

“The final game wasn’t our best game,” Bowman said. “We started off really strong, but as the game went on, a lot of our players got worn out, and Dalton started to get the better of us. I was just trying to settle my nerves, and make sure that the team stayed level-headed, yet worked hard, and thankfully, we were able to do that for the first 80 minutes.”

With only four seniors rostered this year, underclassmen picked up key responsibilities in big positions, especially in the defense. 

“James Kropp filled the role of keeper really well and ended up playing pretty much perfect in every game,” Scheinfeld said. “Bryce and Zach [Spangler] were really the glue of the team, obviously being captains, they were solid throughout all of the playoffs.” 

Junior Ian Shuler said this year’s playoff performance was good preparation for their senior season, hoping to find themselves on a similarly successful path next year. 

“I got nervous and didn’t perform at my best, but now that I’ve been there and played in a state championship, if we get there next year, I’ll know what to expect and perform better,” Shuler said. “James [Kropp] came in and played a big role and our whole backline really stepped up. In the end, everyone individually did their job, Lathan scoring a lot of goals, the midfield doing what they needed to do and the backline keeping clean sheets and defending really well against some good attackers.”

Scheinfeld is optimistic for the upcoming season and believes they could go further than this season, potentially bringing home a state championship trophy for the first time in Midtown history. 

“Next season will be good,” Scheinfeld said. “We’re missing a couple of key players from our senior class, but hopefully, we’ll get some players from the Atlanta United Academy or MLS Next league. We’re not losing too many key players, but our upcoming senior and junior classes are pretty stacked, so next season is looking up.” 

Bowman leaves the team with advice, proud of his last four years at Midtown and excited to see the Knights’ future.

“Jonathan [Steiding] will be a key player on the wing, creating chances,” Bowman said. “Braden Dalzell and Brady will be key in the backline and Ian distributing in the midfield, but sophomore Lathan Johnson is the guy I think will be filling the void from our seniors and scoring a lot of our goals. Stay positive, work as a team, and you’ll do great things.”