The Spencer High Greenwaves fell one victory short last season as they were Region 5-AA boys soccer runners-up.
This season's goal became perfectly clear.
The Greenwaves take a 10-2-1 record into the state tournament today at 7 p.m. against 6-AA No. 4 seed Lovett after capturing the first region title in school history.
Junior midfielder Randy Arevalo remembers the disappointing end to last season.
"We were sad that we couldn't complete the goal," Arevalo said. "At the same time, we were happy we made it that far. We came away from that game with the agreement that we wanted to become something bigger."
Arevalo and his teammates got off to a rocky beginning, posting a 0-2-1 record in the season's first 3 games. More than half of the 20-man squad, including Arevalo, has played for coach Marvin Broadwater Jr. for three seasons.
"It was a reality check for all of us," Arevalo said. "We went into the game against Jordan all cocky. We thought we had an advantage over Jordan because we beat them last season. After those three games, we changed our whole mindset."
After losses to Jordan and Troup and a tie against Shaw, the Greenwaves reeled off 10 straight victories. Broadwa
ter has seen steady improvement in his four seasons at the helm.
"I think our strength is consistency person to person," Broadwater said. "So many of them have been playing together for three years. They know my expectations and they know where everyone will play."
Arevalo noted that only two players of the first 11 were new to the team.
"They adapted real quickly," Arevalo said. "You can't say our keeper or defense or any one player is our strength. Our strength is that we play as one unit."
Arevalo is a central midfielder who assumes both an offensive and defensive role, as needed.
"I can be both," Arevalo said. "If the defense needs help, I can go back and support them. I can also go up front and attack."
Team play is what Broadwater is looking for today against Lovett, which is an unfamiliar foe.
"I need total team play," Broadwater said. "We need to play as one unit and I need the younger guys to step up. It will help that we've been to the playoffs before."
Broadwater has no qualms in facing an Atlanta area team despite the fact that other regions feature different soccer styles.
"In the playoffs you don't play the same teams you're used to facing," Broadwater said. "They come from different parts of Georgia and play different versions of soccer. We just have to bring our best game."
Region 5-AA features a controlled offensive style.
"In 5-AA, you see a lot of guys keeping the ball," Broadwater said. "In region 6, there are a lot of quick passes."
Broadwater plans to bring his squad a little early to watch the Carver-Westminster match at 5 p.m. Carver is the 5-AA runner-up.
"There's no real advantage or disadvantage in not having seen them play," Arevalo said. "It's hard guessing their style of play and it would help having a little background. We know how they play but seeing them would probably help."
Broadwater knows that the playing field will be level.
"They haven't seen us either," Broadwater said.
STATE SOCCER SCHEDULE
Columbus vs. Druid Hills (at CSU), 6 p.m.
Carver vs. Westminster (at Woodruff), 5 p.m.
Spencer vs. Lovett (at Woodruff), 7 p.m.
Jordan at Blessed Trinity, TBA
Fellowship Christian at Brookstone, 7 p.m.
Columbus vs. Riverwood (at CSU), 6:30 p.m.
Jordan vs. Westminster (at Woodruff), 4 p.m.
Spencer at Blessed Trinity, TBA
Towns County at Brookstone, 5 p.m.