Cicala “is a legend, and those shoes, honestly, I don’t think will ever be filled,” according to Garza, who nonetheless is introducing a new system, and bringing a new style of play to the Rams this spring. Garza wants to leave his imprint on the program by emphasizing speed.
“We’re bringing in this new style to Robinson, a possession game that relies on speed and moving forward,” Garza said. “I can’t lie and say it’s been very smooth. You want to bring in a new system for the boys to play . . . get them to have more speed and more moving off the ball. Of course, they’re trying their best to catch up with it and it’s not going to be an overnight process.”
After opening the season with a 2-0 win over George Mason, Robinson (1-1-2) earned 1-1 draws against Battlefield and Stone Bridge. It took a 1-0 lead last week against Lake Braddock off a perfectly played set-piece in the first half of last Friday’s game — but it’s aggressive and up-tempo style was overshadowed by key mistakes made in the back-end in the 3-1 loss. The Rams received a breather this week with spring break, but the transition will continue at high-speed with next week’s schedule, which includes two quality tests in W.T. Woodson and West Springfield.
Even with a new coach, and the process of molding a new system, expectations are still high at Robinson, which finished 13-2-4 last year and advanced to the Virginia AAA quarterfinals. Cicala, who coached in the region for over 30 years, won a state title with the Rams in 2008.
Under Garza, Mount Vernon finished 16-2-2 last season, advancing to the Northern regional quarterfinals before falling to Cicala and Robinson in a penalty kick shootout.
“I know Robinson is deep-rooted in tradition, and I want to keep that tradition,” Garza said, “and also, at the same time, build upon new tradition.”
The Post Top 10
Oakton has found natural scorers in sophomore Armand Jeffris and junior Cameron Santoro so far this season, but senior midfielder Patrick Moore has been the Cougars’ most productive offensive player with five assists and one goal in three games. . . . T.C. Williams has recorded shutouts in three wins, including a 2-0 win over No. 8 South Lakes and a 3-0 decision over No. 9 Mount Vernon. . . . Tuscarora has the look of a potentially explosive squad this spring, having already scored 14 goals in four games — including a 6-0 blowout of Champe on March 15, aided by a hat-trick from sophomore midfielder Sergio Resendiz.
1. Oakton (3-0)
2. Lake Braddock (2-0)
3. Forest Park (2-0)
4. T.C. Williams (3-0)
5. Osbourn Park (1-1-1)
6. Langley (2-0)
7. Tuscarora (3-0-1)
8. South Lakes (3-1)
9. Mount Vernon (0-1)
10. Herndon (3-1-2)