Senior Max Swicionis is among five returning starters from the 2022 Riverside-Brookfield High School boys soccer team that shared the program’s first conference championship since 2015.
It’s made the Bulldogs hungry for even more this season. They opened Tuesday against Lemont in the Reavis Invitational.
“We definitely want to win conference. I definitely think that’s a very achievable goal,” Swicionis said. “And to make it past the first round [of playoffs. Winning] regionals would be nice.
Nine varsity returnees seek to continue the wave of success after the Bulldogs were Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division co-champions with Wheaton Academy at 5-1. RBHS, however, lost its IHSA Class 3A Argo Regional opener to the host Argonauts 4-2 and finished the season 11-10.
Swicionis is the lone returnee of the Bulldogs’ six 2022 All-MSC Blue selections.
Seniors David Carrillo and Massimo Franceschina and juniors Diego Villegas and Tomas Kunikas also are returning starters.
Seniors Nick Gilberto, Mak Scheuermann and Liam Kaiser and junior Liam Hickey are varsity returnees. Key newcomers include freshman Kenzo DeLemos and juniors Josef Guerrero, Diego Castillo and Vince Duong from last season’s junior varsity.
Swicionis, Carrillo and Hickey are team captains.
“Winning regionals would be a realistic goal for us,” Carrillo said. “Definitely our counterattack is looking really sharp, especially with our fast players and our fast buildup. We’re really moving the ball around the midfield especially and finding our wingers, our strikers.”
The Bulldogs should be the favorite in this year’s one-division MSC. With the private schools leaving, the Bulldogs only will play Elmwood Park, Ridgewood and Westmont home and away. Everyone played each other once in 2022, and RBHS went 3-0 against those teams with its closest victory 3-2 over Ridgewood.
The Bulldogs last won regionals in Class 2A in 2019 under current coach Ivek Halic.
“We lost, unfortunately, in the first round of the playoffs [last year] and we know what that’s like. We saw how it made the seniors feel,” Hickey said. “We don’t ever want to feel that way again. We want to hit the ground running right away.”