Boys are off to a 4-0 start this year
One of the primary goals for the Whitehall boys' soccer team this fall was to finish games. It was a haunting memory from last year when the Zephyrs got off to a 3-1 start only to finish with an overall 5-13 mark that included a season-ending seven game losing streak.
But to borrow the phrase that was then and this is now.
The Zephyrs have sharpened their gaps from last season and have produced four wins is as many games to begin the season and signal a new dawn ahead.
"We have been doing well," said Garcia. "We really have learned to communicate better and that is one of the reasons for our success so far this season. We did miss some opportunities already this season, but we have also narrowed that gap.
"This season, we're finding a way to finish. Everyone seems to be playing at a really good level right now and we're meshing well as an overall unit.
So far, Whitehall (4-0) hasn't discovered any major faults. In their first four games, the Zephyrs disposed Catasauqua (8-0), nipped Nazareth (1-0), blanked Kutztown (3-0) and edged Saucon Valley (2-1).
Through those victories, Garcia has seen his team's character begin to emerge, another trait he has envisioned for success.
"We played some teams that we thought we had an edge over and beat them," he said. "It is a testament to us that we have managed to stay strong and record some shutouts. We had a close game and we were able to finish.
"We have some momentum building right now, and it will be a challenge for us to keep it going."
Garcia has also turned to his upperclassmen for leadership and overall team direction. Seniors Jacob Pesarcik and Kareem Green both have played integral parts in the early going. Juniors Mike Eible and Brian Pluchinsky have also helped in the overall development
Garcia also has been pleased with the rapid development of his younger players, who have begun to provide a necessary support system for the growing program. Sophomores Brandon Lavano and Brian Heckman have been among those who already have been steady contributors.
"We have a good senior class and a solid junior class behind them," Garcia said. "But the real key for us can be how our younger kids mature. They are all off to a good start and we have many skilled players there.
"With the younger players continuing to grow and contribute, we are also developing some needed depth along the way."
Another key for the Zephyrs is how they will respond against some of the perennial and upcoming powers in the Lehigh Valley Conference. Their mettle will likely be tested this week when they battle Parkland, Easton, and Emmaus. The following week, they will have a skirmish with upstart and neighboring Northampton.
"Our character and ability to finish will be tried in the next few weeks," Garcia said. "We have to be able to beat the best in order to be the best. We would like to be able to pull off a few upsets and place ourselves in a good spot headed to districts. We will have to find ways to take advantage of all our opportunities in the next few weeks."
If they do, they will continue to erase some memories from last season.