As a senior midfielder for Broad Run, Evan Kalaris played an integral role during the Spartans' 21-1-1 season in 2014, which culminated in a 3-2 victory against Albemarle during the Virginia 5A boys' soccer state championship game June 15.
With the score tied, 2-2, during the 69th minute, Kalaris connected with fellow midfielder J.P. Reategui in front of the Patriots' net for the game-winning goal. The victory gave Broad Run its first soccer state championship during school history.
A Christopher Newport University commit, Kalaris spoke with PressBoxDC.com about his part in helping Broad Run's soccer team make school history, his participation during a skills competition at a Manchester United soccer camp as an 11-year-old and his impressions during the preliminary round of the 2014 World Cup.
PressBox: How were you and your fellow 11 senior teammates able to get over the hump this season and capture Broad Run's first soccer state championship during school history?
Evan Kalaris: I have been playing with several of my teammates -- Sammy Sergi, Zach Poretz and Andrew Davies -- since we were 5 years old, and we have developed great chemistry together. We got as far as the state quarterfinals last year, and we made it our goal to win the whole thing this year. I also found out that our parents had been discussing among themselves many years ago how they could not wait to see how good this team would be when we were all seniors.
Being on this team was something special. Playing for my school and taking the field with my best friends meant the world to me. I was aware that my high school career was over, but most of my thoughts were on what we had just accomplished -- winning the state championship. It felt like a dream. It was an amazing day. First, we had our graduation ceremony, then this.
PB: What was going through your head as you set up and assisted J.P. Reategui's third and final goal of the championship game to give the team the lead during the 69th minute of the game?
EK: We came out fired up in the second half. Our coaches reminded us that we had 40 minutes of high school soccer left, and we realized that it was now all or nothing. With a penalty kick tying the score early in the second half, and then my shot hitting the post a few minutes later, I think we could sense we had another goal in us.
I received the ball on the far left side, made two cuts to get past the right back and drove into the box. As a few defenders began to collapse on me, I noticed J.P.'s run through the middle of the box and slotted a pass to him with the outside of my right foot. He did the rest.
PB: Looking back on your soccer career to this point, what are some memories that stick out?
EK: In 2007, it was winning the skills competition at a Manchester United camp in England, which resulted in a larger competition at the pitch in Old Trafford stadium. In 2012, I scored two goals in the final of the Disney tournament, which helped my Loudoun U-17 travel team win the championship. In 2013, I was part of the winning Virginia State Cup team on my U-17 Loudoun red travel team. This year, it was winning the VHSL state championship with Broad Run High School.
PB: Why did you decide that Christopher Newport would best fit for you to continue your soccer career?
EK: I feel Christopher Newport is the perfect school for me. It is not too small or too large, and I think they provide an environment where I will get an excellent education and gain the leadership skills that will help me in the future. It is a beautiful campus. The buildings and facilities are new and well laid out.
I met coach [Steve] Shaw at another soccer camp, and he expressed an interest in me. In speaking with him a few times later, I was convinced that he would offer me the opportunity to play and become a better all-around soccer player. I also feel my style of play fits well with Christopher Newport's soccer program. In addition, my good friend from my club team had been recruited and joined Christopher Newport the previous year, and one of my Broad Run teammates also committed to Christopher Newport this year.
PB: How do you plan to balance your studies and your responsibilities with the soccer team?
EK: I plan on majoring in business. Perhaps in the offseason, I could assist at Christopher Newport's soccer camps. I have not really given that much thought about a professional career, but if the opportunity arose, I would certainly pursue it.
PB: With the World Cup currently going on, what are some things that have caught your attention?
EK: I would really like for the U.S. team to get through the group of death and make a statement about U.S. soccer. Although Spain has just been eliminated, [Andres] Iniesta is my favorite player -- and whom I think I model my game after. I am also impressed with Neymar [da Silva Santos Junior's] skills.