The Naples High School boys’ soccer team defeated Barron Collier High School 5-1 during the Regional Final, on Feb.21.

“I mean, it’s an away game at Barron Collier. I don’t think there’s anything better than that. Beating Barron Collier on their home turf,” senior Oliver Ditheridge said. “And earlier in the season, they beat us twice: 3-1 and 5-2, and they both hurt us. So, to go to Barron [and] win a regional championship at Baron, I mean, it was nice.”

Despite previous losses to BCHS’s team, the team was able to get a victory.

“Those two losses we had to Barron earlier in the season locked us in and kept our mind on our goal, and we set a goal at the start of the season and that is to win a state championship,” Ditheridge said.

Ditheridge is dealing with a foot injury. He has been wearing a boot while he is off the pitch. However, he played during the game and scored four goals.

I couldn’t have done that, by myself I mean, my team behind me, it was just amazing to score four goals at a match,” Ditheridge said. “It’s a great feeling, but I give all the credit to my teammates. I just scored, but at the end of the day, we’re a team.”

Boys’ soccer coach Robert Prange had a specific strategy prepared for the game.

“We played a high press, and we didn’t allow Baron to move the ball out of the backline,” Prange said. “Therefore, we possessed and controlled the field.

The strategy was effective, as Naples continued to dominate throughout the game, resulting in their victory and securing their victory.

“I think the guys showed up and played the game we want them to play,” Prange said. “They followed the game plan 100% and it worked out.”

The NHS boy’s soccer team is preparing for the state semifinal, where they will place in Deland, Florida, and take on Jesuit. 

We can always improve on something. We’re gonna watch film, and we’re gonna critique some stuff,” Ditheridge said.

However, the coach is confident about what’s ahead as the team hopes to finish up the season with a state championship victory.

“I think at this point in the season once you win one match in the regionals, you just keep building from game to game, competence levels go up, and I don’t have any worries about that,” Prange said.

The confidence extends to the players as well.

But if we keep our right mindset, and keep going… this could be the season we bring a state championship back to Naples,” Ditheridge said.