Senior Spektor Scores in Finale for Hun Boys’ Soccer As Raiders Top Lawrenceville, Earn Share of MAPL Title
By Bill Alden
Aden Spektor joined his Hun School boys’ soccer teammates in jumping up and down in unison in the pregame huddle last Friday as they got pumped up before hosting Lawrenceville in their season finale.
With 4:41 left in the contest, the Hun players were jumping all over Spektor in one corner of the field after he scored a goal to put Hun up 3-1 and close the deal as the Raiders went on to a 4-1 victory and ended the fall with a 10-7 record.
For senior forward Spektor, emotions were running high as the program held its Senior Day ceremony.
“It was crazy, playing for four years and this is my last game ever,” said Spektor. “I was just really excited.”
Hun didn’t play its best early on, controlling possession but not cashing in as the rivals were knotted in a 0-0 draw through the first 71 minutes of the contest.
Tyler Stark broke the stalemate, scoring with 8:19 left to put Hun up 1-0 and Conor Frykholm found the back of the net 1:08 later as the Raiders doubled their lead.
“I knew it was coming, it has been the same thing for every other game,” said Spektor of the two-goal outburst.
“We have really good build up and it is going to come a little bit toward the end. You want to feel comfortable going into the final minutes of the game. The two goals got the momentum.”
After Lawrenceville got a tally on a penalty kick to make it 2-1, Spektor swooped in down the right flank and knocked in a goal to restore Hun’s two-goal advantage.
“I was like oh my God, I am completely free on this side,” said Spektor.
“I have got to score this. Everyone was storming the field, it was a great feeling.”
For Spektor, the goal marked the culmination of the progress he has made over his Raider career.
“I definitely gained a lot more confidence and just a lot more leadership ability,” said Spektor.
“I came in as a freshman and didn’t make varsity but got moved up later on in the season. So it was gaining my confidence from that and knowing that I am good player and that I can help out the team.”
In reflecting on his senior season, Spektor said the squad developed a special team unity this fall.
“Band of brothers — that is our motto because we are brothers first and a team second,” said Spektor.
“Everyone here is really close to each other. We are really good friends and pretty much brothers.”
Hun head coach Pat Quirk credited Spektor and his classmates with setting a winning tone.
“They have changed our culture and changed our mentality from oh I don’t think we are going to win to we are winners and people should be afraid of us,” said Quirk.
“It is a team effort but it is senior-led for sure. We have a captain’s council, three seniors sat on that — Ayden Isbirian, A.J. Torres, and John Balian. They are able to have their voices with the coaches. I think that is really important for them when we were struggling this year. In the past, it was tough for us to figure it out but this year we were able to talk it out and work things out.”
Although Hun struggled to score against Lawrenceville, Quirk was confident the Raiders would eventually confident break through.
“I was a little concerned, they sat back and they defended well in the pockets,” said Quirk.
“We struggled to break them down but we knew if we could stretch the game out a little bit longer, space was going to open up. We knew once we got one, they are going to have to press up a lot more to try to get one and they are going to get stretched out.”
Spektor’s goal was a highlight of the win. “That was sweet, his brother (team manager Aaron Spektor) called that, saying he was going to score,” said Quirk, who got a second goal from sophomore Frykholm to end the scoring.
“As a senior on Senior Day, I think it is his second goal of his career. It is definitely a good one.”
The victory over the Big Red combined with wins by The Hill School (Pa.) and Peddie over the weekend gave Hun a share of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title.
In Quirk’s view, that championship was the product of a long term process.
“All we preach is hard work, competitiveness, selflessness, and encouragement and is what they build on every day,” said Quirk.
“We are there to support each other. We talked last spring about watering roots and building these connections with each other then so when we get to preseason we are ready to go.”
Looking ahead, Quirk believes the program can build on the success it experienced this fall.
“We are losing a lot of good seniors but we have guys on the bench that are going to fill spots,” said Quirk.
“All year, we have been trying to get more guys on the field. I think we have subbed more this year than we have done in the past and a lot of guys got some quality minutes. One thing we kept saying was don’t be complacent. Against Peddie (a 4-2 loss on October 30), we got a little complacent and it cost us. But not today, we kept pressing and stuck with it. That is what we have got to do in the offseason not be complacent in the offseason.”
Spektor, for his part, was proud of the way Hun stuck together all fall.
“I think this whole season has been a highlight for me,” said Spektor.
“Everything leading up to this season and then the whole season was just amazing. This is our best season since I have been here.”