Ryan Colfer isn’t known as a goal scorer. But that might have to change.
Colfer is a senior midfielder on the Father Judge High School soccer team, and last year he scored one goal during the entire season.
This year, in the Crusaders’ first three games of the season, he is averaging one per game.
Colfer scored two goals in his team’s victory over Conwell-Egan, and added another in a triumph over Bishop McDevitt. In the other game, his team was shut out by Archbishop Wood 1-0.
He didn’t score in the fourth one, a 2-1 victory over St. Joe’s Prep on Saturday, but he did record an assist and now has five on the year.
Colfer is excited about how his team has started the season, but he’s not getting overly impressed with his new-found scoring success.
“Scoring is just part of the game, and if I score and it helps us win, I like it,” said Colfer, who is a captain this year. “But it’s not something I worry about. I think I’m scoring more because of the way the team is playing. The other guys are getting the ball to me and I’m able to score, it’s not because I’m doing anything differently.
“I don’t care about scoring, I really don’t. The only thing I want to do is win. Last year I scored once, but when we won I was happy. When we lost, I wasn’t. I just want to win, especially this year because it’s my last year.”
Colfer is ready to put in the work to make that happen.
Last year wasn’t a bad one for the Crusaders. They qualified for the playoffs and fell in overtime to St. Joe’s Prep in a game that would have put them into the semifinals. But it’s not the type of season Colfer wants for his final one in the blue and red.
“Last year was good, but it wasn’t what we wanted,” Colfer said. “It just wasn’t how we wanted to end the year. We really wanted to go further. But I think it helps that we have so many guys from last year’s team on this year’s team.
“We have the experience of making the playoffs and playing in a tough game, so that will help us. And we know what we have to do to win. The league is still tough, but I think we have more experience, so we’ll be harder to beat all year.”
The league is as tough as ever with Roman Catholic, Wood and La Salle among the best in the area. Judge and its rival, Archbishop Ryan, are right there with the elite of the league, so there are many different ways this season could end.
Colfer is ready to do his part to make sure it’s the Crusaders who are standing tall at the end of the season.
“I think I was picked as a captain because I’m a good leader and if anyone needs help, on or off the field, I’m there to help them,” said Colfer, who lives in Torresdale. “I’m not loud, but I think I’m a good leader and people follow me. And I’m there to help. If anyone needs anything, I want to help them.”
That isn’t just on the field.
Colfer is as strong in the classroom as he is on the field. He ranks in the top 30 of his senior class and is in all honors classes at the school.
Because of that, he’s in the National Honor Society, and part of that includes tutoring during free time. So far, Colfer hasn’t helped any of his teammates, but should they need it, he would be ready to assist.
“I haven’t had to do it, but there were other athletes who helped other athletes, so maybe it’s easier for people to go to people they have something in common with,” Colfer said. “I don’t know if I’ll have to help any of the guys because we’re a pretty smart team, I think most of the guys do really well in school, but if they need it, I’d love to help them.”
Colfer is now starting to think about where he’ll be hitting the books next year.
His mother is an employee at Temple University, so he can attend college there for free, which would be a huge benefit. However, is is unsure if he wants to play soccer. If he does continue his athletic career, it will likely be at a Division II or III school, so he’s keeping his options open until after the season.
“I would love to go to Temple, it’s a great school, so I would love it there,” said Colfer, who is unsure, but is considering sports medicine as a potential major. “I’m not sure playing soccer at Temple would be the best fit for me, so I’ll have to see what happens. I definitely want to go to college, but I still have a lot to figure out.”
He also has a lot to take care of before he graduates in June.
The perfect year would be to win a Catholic League championship, have a good showing in the state playoffs and also have a strong season in CYO basketball, where he plays with his friends for fun.
“I really think we can have a great year,” Colfer said. “That’s the only thing I’m worried about. I just want to win.”