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The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

A Day in the Life of the Bronx Science Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team: A Win Against Christopher Columbus High School

Bronx Science defeated Christopher Columbus High School 2-0, a deciding game for the Fall 2023 season.
Tristan Borlongan
Captain and goalie, Max Tsigalnitsky ’24, assists in leading drills. 

On October 5th, 2023, after a well-fought game, the Bronx Science Boys’ Varsity Soccer team beat Christopher Columbus High School 2-0. Both goals were scored by Dimitrious Mahairas ’24, and the team achieved their goal of keeping a clean sheet. 

The afternoon began with a brilliant atmosphere, as the team rallied by the Bronx Science terrace. Captains Max Tsigalnitsky ’24 and Philip Worgall ’25 could be seen herding all the players like shepherds do with their flocks of sheep. “Let’s go!” Tsigalnitsky yelled, as the team scurried over to the bus. 

The twenty or so players crammed into the back end of the bus. One of them had brought a bluetooth speaker, and began playing music. In the meantime, I spoke to Tsigalnitsky, a friend of mine, who is the the team’s goalie. 

TB: “So what is it you exactly do as Captain?”

MT: “I organize the practices, lead warm-ups, and get them to the game in one piece.”

TB: “So what do you think about before the games?”

MT: “Mostly winning the game, as I’m locked in.”

TB: “Are you nervous?”

MT: “I mean I’m a little anxious, but I’m more hyped than anything.” 

By the front of the bus, a few players spoke to an older woman, who seemed delighted at the sight of the Bronx Science jerseys. “So are you all are from Bronx Science? Me too, I’m class of ‘84!” As the team got off the bus, she wished everyone good luck in the game; it was certainly quite the morale booster. 

Walking through Pelham Gardens, the team ran into some students from a nearby school. They yelled to the team, “Hey what school do you all play for?” Someone yells back, “Bronx Science!” To that response they cheered, so I suppose they weren’t from Columbus High School. 

As the team arrived at the field, the gates were locked, the other team wasn’t there, and neither were either of the coaches. Therefore, it fell upon the Captains to get everything running. Worgall and Tsigalnitsky once again corralled the team into action, yelling “get changed now!” 

Captains Max Tsigalnitsky ’24 and Philip Worgall ’25 address members of the team about not getting dressed enough quickly for the game. (Tristan Borlongan)

Ready to finally take the pitch, the team marched to the benches to start warm-ups. I asked Centerback Jahir Castellanos ’24 what he thought of the other team. “They’re technical, but they’re not physical,” he explained to me. “They can’t body someone, if that makes sense.” Various players overhearing the conversation seemed to agree with this sentiment. “They [CCHS] are a solid team in the league,” he admits. “But we can compete with anyone.” Chiming in, Aaron Nadler ,25 adds, “We need to be more aggressive!” Castellanos continues, “We lost to Martin Luther King High School in September 2023, but it was a good learning experience.” 

Center Back Jahir Castollanos ‘24 works on controlling the soccer ball.  (Tristan Borlongan)

“I think the most important thing we learned was to be more tactically compact,” Castollanos  continued. This essentially means to “press” as a team. On a field there are eleven players, and to be more compact, they shouldn’t be far away from each other. Instead, they should tighten up against the opposing players to give less room for the other team to pass the ball.

At this point, the CCHS team arrived on the field and began their warm-ups. The captains told the team, “Let’s go already, you should have been dressed by now; get to warming up!” CCHS started their stretches, shouting as they counted out their stretches. 

“Ooh, they’re loud,” Tsigalnitsky said to me. “We should match that.” Leading the drills, he counts the seconds of every stretch, screaming the numbers as loudly as humanly possible. The yells echo through the pitch.

The first half of the game was not perfect. The previous premonitions of CCHS being a technical team, rather than a physical one, were quickly proven wrong. Bronx Science Coach Khaled Mahmoud called the team for a timeout. He told the team he wanted to see fewer passes in the back and go for long passes up the pitch to the forwards, and stay on the offensive. In other words, fight harder to score.

It was during this first half in which Mahairas was able to score the game’s first goal; however, the coach was not particularly satisfied with the team’s overall plays. “We only barely scored,” he said during the post-game debrief. “It was a spontaneous counter-attack, spur of the moment.” 

To Captain Max Tsigalnistsky, the team was not playing at its full potential during the first half, and it was certainly a game in which they had to grow into. Bronx Science was playing CCHS as a weak team, when in reality the Columbus players were, “bodying (shoving, pushing, and slide tackling) everyone.”

The coach gathered the team for a halftime talk. He was certainly unsatisfied with the team’s performance and wanted to see changes. “He pretty much told us we have to position ourselves better,” recalled Castellanos. “Our players are out of their position, which is why we aren’t able to attack well, especially when our forwards aren’t in their correct spots.”

Coach Mahmoud observes the team.  (Tristan Borlongan)

This advice was well heeded, and the second half showed vast improvement. Bronx Science began to win their battles. Possession of the ball was maintained, and there was a clear shift in motivation. 

However, down by two, Christopher Columbus was not ready to give up just yet, and Bronx Science began to falter. It was in the last five minutes the outcome of the game became uncertain, as “we lost control of the game,” said Tsigalnitsky. “They started to pressure us, and we gave up a chance (a possibility to score), and I had to make a big save.” 

The atmosphere became a little more frantic as Bronx Science’s defense struggled to keep CCHS’s renewed attempts to score at bay. “We just got a little tired, and they decided to leave their defense vulnerable, and really push forward to try and score to tie the game. It naturally happens in a close game with a team losing.”  

However in the final five minutes of the game, CCHS was still unable to score, securing Bronx Science’s 2-0 win.

“This win meant a lot for us. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, though. I think expectations are high after last year, but the roster is looking solid. I really do believe in this team,” said Tsigalnistky.

On October 5th, 2023, after a well-fought game, the Bronx Science Boys’ Varsity Soccer team beat Christopher Columbus High School 2-0. Both goals were scored by Dimitrious Mahairas ’24, and the team achieved their goal of keeping a clean sheet. 

About the Contributor
Tristan Borlongan, Staff Reporter
Tristan Borlongan is a Spotlight Section Editor for 'The Science Survey.' As a journalist, Tristan has a  curiosity for international conflict and geopolitics. He personally believes that in order to capture and encapsulate an accurate story, a journalist must embed themselves within the conflict as much as humanly possible. He frequently enjoys the works of war correspondents such as Michael Herr, Robert Capa, and photojournalist Li Zhensheng, who inspire his ideals of what true conflict journalism should be. Academically, Tristan's interests include military history. Tristan hopes to pursue a career as a war correspondent, and he plans on studying journalism in college.