THE BAR IS SET: Cerda, Bolin Back After Helping Falcon Programs to Historic Seasons
FOSTER BOYS AND GIRLS SOCCER ENJOYED PROGRAM BEST SEASONS IN 2021 AS BOTH REACHED THE REGIONAL SEMIFINALS FOR THE FIRST TIME.
The Foster boys went 20-6. “I believe it gave hope to the underclassmen that it is possible for Foster to make it to the fourth round of the playoffs, and maybe even beyond that,” said senior goalkeeper Ezekiel Cerda, a first-team, all-state selection by the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches (TASCO). “All of us wanted it. Coach always tells us to play every game like it’s our last, and that team did.”
The Falcons’ girls went 21-4-1.
“It was a really big step for us, and we really deserved it because of the work we put in,” said junior midfielder Hannah Bolin, a TASCO second-team, all state selection. “Everyone contributed and everyone did their job. We have a lot of girls coming back, so there won’t be a lot of change this year as far as play and how we do.”
If both programs are to replicate that success this season, Cerda and Bolin will have a say.
Cerda had 127 saves with a 1.33 goals-against average last season. He had three huge penalty stops to beat Sharpstown in the Regional Quarterfinals.
“I tell myself every game that I hope I’m able to do my job for this team,” said Cerda, adept at always taking the right angle on shots to make stops. “I hope I make that save or that correct pass that we need. Keeping a positive mindset throughout the game keeps me focused and ready for whatever happens.”
Cerda said the Falcons are a team that leaves it all out on the field. Their inspiration is their coach, Robert DeStefano.
“This group of guys we have this year, I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do it again,” Cerda said. “Everything we accomplished last year, it’s possible to keep going and doing what we did. Our focus, our mindset … it’s all momentum.”
Bolin had nine goals and 15 assists as a sophomore last season, and, like Cerda, earned statewide recognition for her outstanding play.
The Sam Houston-commit thinks the Falcons will be even better this season.
“I think we’re going to switch our formation a little bit to get our outside backs more involved in the attack,” she said. “That’s five or six more players who can cross balls and finish.”
A varsity player since she was a freshman, Bolin is a battle-tested veteran who keeps improving. Last year, she made a concerted effort to be more offensive-minded. Being able to produce in the attack consistently was a boon for the defensive star who excels at intercepting passes and making tackles.
During the club season, Bolin worked on winning more balls out of the air.
“I feel like last year I had a lot more confidence in myself than my freshman year,” she said.
Big-time seasons individually for Cerda and Bolin made for historic campaigns for their teams.
“It really raised our confidence a lot,” Bolin said. “Now our goal is to make it to the State Tournament, and we really want to keep breaking that barrier and keep making history