- December 1, 2021
The Lake Buena Vista High School soccer teams already have made history this season in more ways than one.
The girls soccer team has started strong for a first-year program to start the year and even earned the first victory on LBV’s home field — when the Lady Vipers defeated Cypress Creek in their first game of the season.
“We beat a decent Cypress Creek team,” head girls coach Brian Charboneau said. “Our football team had not won a home game, so it was literally the first home win at our stadium in school history. The players really got a kick out of that, but those are the kinds of things that motivated them.”
So far, Charboneau’s squad has managed a respectable 4-7 record through its first 11 games. After reaching .500, the team has lost three consecutive games, which Charboneau attributes to injuries to some of the team’s key players.
“I always want to attach a game with something we’re going to do,” Charboneau said. “We don’t have the luxury of having 40 players (who) already know how to play soccer, so it’s all about building the program.”
Some of the key building blocks for the girls team include Albany Rios, who leads the team with 10 goals this season, and Alexis David, who Charboneau compared to the likes of Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté, because of her defensive prowess.
Starting a new program is not new for Charboneau; he has done this before. When Wekiva High School started its girls soccer program, Charboneau was tasked with leading it in its infancy. Within five years, he took a team that went 3-18 in its first year to second in the district in his final year. He’s confident he can do the same at Lake Buena Vista.
“Any time that you are starting a program, you’d be lucky enough to inherit all the good players from a school that’s feeding you, and it’s difficult,” Charboneau said. “I just coach the girls are in front of me. We have some good talent, and we’re young.”
Part of taking that talent and using it effectively is trusting the plan that’s in place, which Charboneau is based on the players in the program.
“They’re the foundation,” Charboneau said.
On the boys side, head coach Scott Carnevale’s crew has adopted the idea they are greater than the sum of their parts, which include 10 freshmen.
Their youth and inexperience has shown at times in their 1-7-1 record to start, but they know it’s going to take time and effort to develop into a top team.
“In practice and training, even the games, though the score won’t show it, the kids are putting in the work,” Carnevale said. “Most of the games, I have had coaches come up to me and they see what we’re doing, how good we’ll be in the future and the fight our boys have. That’s going to be a real key going forward — sticking with the plan.”
Furthermore, instead of considering the boys and girls as separate squads, the Vipers soccer program operates as one.
“After practice, I say, ‘Go on home, guys,’ but they say, ‘No, Coach. We want to stay here and watch the girls,’” Carnevale said. “(Coach Charboneau) and I are trying to create one big soccer program together. It’s really good to see the kids supporting (one another) that way.”