Boys soccer: Warren's Floriani hoping to finish high school career strong
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the IHSA calendar upside down.
Boys soccer, which usually plays in the fall, kicks its way into the 2021 spring season.
Max Floriani of Warren has been waiting for his chance to get back on the field to show what he can do for his final season, before going to play at St. Louis University in the fall.
Floriani, a returning Daily Herald All-Area player, is entering his third year on the varsity, but was brought up for the postseason in his freshman year.
He's a player who generally plays as a defensive midfielder but this season will be more on the attacking side for the Blue Devils. Last season, he compiled an impressive 11 goals and 1 assist.
"I really control the possession of the play and start the attack," Floriani said. "I really control the defensive third of the field. This season I expect to be on the attack more."
His role and contributions have made Warren one of the top teams to watch for in the North Suburban Conference.
"Max is a true game changer," Warren coach Jason Ahonen said. "His athletic ability, vision and size separates him from most high school players. His ability to be calm on the ball, his technical ability, is top-notch and his ability to move effortlessly on the field makes him one of the top players in the state.
"As our holding midfielder, his skill set fits what we're trying to do as a program," Ahonen said. "We want to possess the ball, play through the different lines of players and attack in numbers."
Floriani was recently selected to be in an All-American game on May 30 in St. Louis.
"It really means a lot to me," Floriani said. "I always wanted to win a state championship and wanted to be an All-American. It's just an honor to be in that special game."
Floriani also can enjoy the experience in St. Louis knowing that will be his next step playing in the same area for college.
"It's one of the best areas to play soccer," Floriani said. "I have a great relationship with the coaches. I went on a visit and they made me feel very welcome. It's a top-notch program academically and a premiere college in soccer."
Playing this spring means a lot more for Floriani after not knowing if he would have a senior season.
"Just very grateful to compete one last time this year," Floriani said. "It was a strange year for everyone. I just can't wait to get after it."
Trying to keep active and ready to play, Floriani has had to find ways to do it during the pandemic.
"During the quarantine, I would work out in the basement or make runs," Floriani said. "Club soccer came around and I was able to practice three days a week. It was a good chance to stay into shape on our own."
Looking ahead into the shortened season, Floriani wants to make the best of what he can do along with the team. Warren has won the conference championship three times in its history, the last time in 2014.
"Ultimately, the main goal is to win the conference title," Floriani said. "But just getting out there is special after having so much time off."