John Ermini – Athlete of the Week – November 3, 2017

This week’s Athlete of the Week, junior John Ermini, stood tall in goal throughout the TCIS finals week. After suffering a heartbreaking defeat in the 2016 TCIS finals, it was clear John and the Dolphin’s Soccer program were left with a bitter taste. Fast-forward to the 2017 season where it was evident John was ready for the moment, defeating Norfolk Academy in a shut-out TCIS Finals victory.

“John played big and made great decisions on when to aggressively attack the ball,” Head Coach Dave Brun said of John. “It was addressed the day before the game, and appeared John was a bit apprehensive. He was dropping balls out of the air, and this is very much out of John’s character. However, Coach Liebig counseled John and got him where he needed to be for the finals.”

The calming presence of Assistant Coach David Liebig seemed to ease the nerves of the Dolphin goalkeeper. John consistently proved he was the man for the job, earning twelve crucial saves throughout the match.

“It seemed to be a constant strategy by our opponents to load up the box for long throws and free kick situations,” Coach Brun continued. “John faced a great deal of adversity throughout the first half. Glaring into a blinding sun is not easy for a goalkeeper relying on sight, but he made a terrific outstretched tip save headed for the top corner.”

John was aided by strong play from the back line and his teammates provided the rest, scoring three goals and taking a great deal of stress off John’s shoulders.

“It’s best being a striker or field player; if you miss shots all game but score the winner, you’re a hero,” Assistant Coach David Liebig said of John. “ The goalkeeper can play the game of his life, let one in, and he is to blame. John does not let this hinder his ability. He handles the goalkeeper position with class and maturity.”

“We always challenge John to be engaged in the game, and ask more of him than most teams because of how we play,” Coach Brun continued. “We build out of the back versus kicking the ball down field, and John often plays with his feet as an eleventh field player. He is one of many unsung heroes on this team and seldom gets the recognition he deserves.”

John has had an outstanding season, with the biggest games yet to come. The Dolphins look to make a run in the state tournament as Virginia’s #2 ranked team. There is no doubt John and the Dolphins will be ready for the state’s top competition!