Riverview’s Joey Flanick leading the way for the Raiders

Monday, September 9, 2019 | 6:56 PM

The Riverview boys soccer team is off to a strong start, and senior striker Joey Flanick has been at the center of their early season success.

During his team’s 9-1 season-opening win over Carrick, Flanick scored two goals and dished out an assist. Then, against an undefeated Carlynton team, Flanick scored two goals, including the game winner, to push his team in front for a 2-1 victory.

“It feels good to get off to a good start like this, but we’re not done,” Flanick said. “It’s easy to do what I did last week with a great team behind me. Everyone has the same type of mindset.”

When it came down to it last Thursday, Flanick got the job done. He scored early on, converting off a free kick from Nick O’Toole. Then, with about 11 minutes remaining in the game, Flanick made a hustle play, tapping in a goal from just outside the 6-yard box.

That type of play is something that Riverview coach Mick Namey has become used to since Flanick joined the team as a freshman. When he first came out, he didn’t necessarily have the soccer IQ, but he had the athletic ability from playing multiple sports as a kid.

“He’s always had that nonstop energy,” Namey said. “Now, he’s just starting to learn how to control it. When he first started out, he’d try to do everything on the field, then when he’d get the ball, he’d be burnt out. He’s starting to learn how to become a soccer player and not rely on his overall athleticism.”

That isn’t everything that Flanick has contributed to the team, though. With a roster of 13 kids on a good day, the Raiders have gone into games with a lack of numbers, but that hasn’t slowed them down.

Led by Flanick and O’Toole, the Raiders have adopted a mentality that has allowed them to thrive through their first two games of the season. Rather than accepting defeat because of low numbers, they have used it as motivation.

“We have a mindset where it’s just 11 guys versus 11 guys,” Flanick said. “I told my guys that’s all we should think about. It’s 11 guys versus 11 guys, just playing soccer. Sometimes, you can think about the other team being above you, but if we can keep our mindset, we should always be good.”

There’s a lot of season left to play for the Raiders, but they’ve gotten off to a great start. They are 2-0, they have outscored their opponents 11-2, and despite their low numbers, they are attacking opposing teams with an underdog type of mindset.

In order to continue their success, Namey believes that Flanick and his teammates don’t have to do anything different.

“They all just have to stick with the system we’ve implemented,” Namey said.

The Raiders will get the next opportunity on Tuesday when they go on the road for the first time to take on Vincentian Academy.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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