Rolling Meadows Soccer rolled this year. Although losing in the first round of the playoffs this year, they were a top 5 team in their respective side of the bracket. And halfway through the year they had not lost a game. With 5 All-Conference players and 4 All-Sectional players, you could tell this team was no joke. So I caught up with Coach Brett Olson to ask him about the season.
When asking Olson about his biggest playmakers he told me that Gage Lockely (12) had created the most opportunities and “put them in advantageous situations.” Lockley was one of the 4 to be picked as an All-Sectional player and an All-Conference player.
With Lockley creating opportunities up front for the Mustangs, the team needed a good back line to cover for the counters and attacks of opponents. And did they have a back line to cover. Talking about the defense Olson said “ We were outstanding defensively, which was a surprise given our inexperience along the backline to start the season.” The defense was anchored by three All-Sectional and All-Conference players by the names of Luke Bieda, Aidan O’Brien and in goal Ramon Orozco.
When asked about what was different from this side than the other teams that he’s coached, Olson told us “This was the most tight-knit team that I have coached. The boys genuinely enjoyed being around each other and being part of the team.” He also spoke on his biggest takeaways from this year and what he would bring to new teams going forward. “These seniors have worked so hard to establish a level of excellence and expectation within our program that had been missing for a while, and they have left the program with two top-of-the-conference seasons that is the new expectation for seasons to come.”
With the soccer season coming to an end for the boys I asked one of the aforementioned players Luke Bieda on what he would miss the most about this team. “The team had a very special bond this year. Everybody was extremely close and had each other’s back. One thing I’m going to miss most is the connection that the team formulated. We were like brothers.” With this team being so close to one another, the hope the next teams will be as much as a family as the 2021 Mustangs were.