Boys eyeing District 11 playoff berth
Whitehall’s boys’ soccer season certainly has been an adventurous one.
Throughout the season, the Zephyrs have hovered around the .500 mark and still have a district playoff berth within their sights.
Ironically, they have a 6-6-1 mark to begin play this week with five games remaining in the regular season.
The Zephyrs suffered a tough, 1-0 loss at Nazareth Monday night and had Northampton Wednesday and Allentown Central Catholic Friday to round out a challenging, and important week.
“It has been tough and challenging,” said Whitehall head coach Chris Bastidas, who met his brother, Adam, in a sibling rivalry with Northampton Wednesday. “We have had a lot of physical games and we have battled through them.
“It has been tight for us all season. We have been able to come through in some games and we have just fallen short in others. At .500, we thought we would have a couple of more wins. But we have had a couple of big weeks and we have worked our way through them.
“We believe we have a lot of soccer left to play.”
Bastidas particularly has been impressed with the play of senior captain Aziz Atiyeh, who has been among the team’s leaders in goals all season.
“He (Atiyeh) has done whatever it takes to get it done,” said Bastidas. “He has been among a lot of guys who have played well for us.
“He (Atiyeh) has provided leadership on and off the field for us. He has really continued to become a solid player since his freshman year.”
Junior Kresstoph Whittick and co-captain senior Tony Rodriguez also have been steady contributors throughout the season.
Junior goalie Justin Mattison is among a group of budding standouts for the Zephyrs.
“Tony (Rodriguez) has just been so steady for us,” added Bastidas. “He really has done a great job in helping setting up the offense. (Whittick) also has been very effective for us all season.
“(Mattison) has been very solid for us and we expect to get even better.”
Down the stretch, it will be about finishing some big games.
“We just have to keep gaining confidence,” said Bastidas. “We have been in so many games and we have to close them out. We all have a good feeling on how the season can end for us.”