HAMMOND | At 6-foot-4 inches tall and 200 pounds, Bishop Noll’s Will Kasprzycki sticks out like a sore thumb, towering over everyone else on the soccer field.
However, Kasprzycki’s size isn’t his only trait that is immediately noticeable in a soccer match. His speed and defensive ability at sweeper are also a huge benefit to the success of The Times No. 4 Warriors this season. The Warriors stand at 9-2-1 this season, with a loss to Crown Point and ties against Munster and Chesterton.
“It’s a lot of defense, especially against the bigger schools,” Kasprzycki said. “Against the bigger schools, everyone tends to play back. It’s all defense in those games, basically.”
Kasprzycki has been playing defense at the varsity level ever since his freshman year, when he played in the 2009 sectional due to injuries.
“He brings stability at a position that’s critical to your soccer team,” Noll assistant coach Kevin Cloghessy said. “We knew it from the time he was a freshman. We haven’t come across many, if any teams, that have anyone faster than Will.”
Noll’s defense has the same starters from last season. One big factor in Kasprzycki’s improvement has been the growth of the other players around him, such as junior Brandon Wade, who plays stopper.
Kasprzycki, who also competes in high jump and long jump for the track team, admitted there is less pressure on him this season, allowing him to play sweeper easier than before.
Always a solid team in this area, the Warriors have not won a regional championship since 1998. The Warriors had a heartbreaking end to last season, losing 1-0 against rival Andrean in the sectional championship, and Kasprzycki is aiming to right the ship this time around. The Warriors will host the 59ers Monday before likely locking horns with them again in the Bishop Noll Sectional.
“We want to get further than we’ve gone, because we always have upsets or something that goes wrong at the end of the season,” Kasprzycki said. “For me, I want to beat Andrean. Last year was very upsetting with that. Between us and Andrean, it’s been a huge rivalry. It’s always a really competitive and big game.”