As the M-A boys soccer team prepares to begin the 2015-2016 season, they enter the Pacific Athletic League (PAL) Bay Division with the same competitive mentality from past years. Following an impressive 16-4 record that led to their 5th PAL title, this year’s squad plans on continuing to improve the quality of M-A’s soccer program by winning another PAL title and the Central Coast Section (CCS).

Leo Krupnik will take over the varsity head coach position from Jacob Pickard. Krupnik hopes to continue and improve on M-A’s rich soccer culture that has developed over the past decade. After playing soccer at UC Berkeley for four years, and playing professionally in the U.S. and Israel for 14 years, Krupnik brings an extensive background to M-A.

“First of all I am very honored to be working at M-A. I am very impressed with the facilities and the quality of the players here at M-A. This season, my goals are to win every game when we step on the field, win the league title and get as far as we can in the [CCS] playoffs.”

The players are very pleased with the quality of coaching Krupnik has to offer and are already adapting to his style. Junior Carlos Magandi shared, “Leo has more patience and has been focused on developing the team more since the first day he walked in. He has confidence in every one of us and I feel like we will have a great season with him.”

With multiple returning players, the Bears have the experience necessary to earn another PAL title. Look for leadership from senior Osilio Florese, and senior Kyle Smith—Smith was named The Daily Journal’s Boys Soccer Player of the Year—as they bring the experience the Bears need to achieve their goals.

Last year, M-A was seeded first in CCS, but was defeated by Bellarmine in the semifinals. This year’s returning players hope to win CCS in 2016, not only for themselves, but also for the seniors of last year.

Smith stated, “Losing at the semifinals was a huge upset for us last year, but it sets a new goal in our sight to win CCS this year. The majority of the players were seniors and it hurt me seeing that they went off to college unsatisfied. I don’t want that to happen to me.”

This season, the Bears look ahead to a challenging schedule with games against district rivals. Smith emphasized the importance of these matches: “This year’s rivals are definitely Sequoia and Carlmont. They always have good squads and challenge us to play our hardest.”

The Bears will open up their season against Harbor High School on December 29, at M-A at 12:00 p.m. Their next game is on January 6, at 4:00p.m. at M-A against Half Moon Bay High School.

You can see the full schedule of the boys varsity soccer team here.

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