Boys Soccer Look To Match Last Years Season

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A Walpole midfielder holds off a Natick player for the ball.

Peter Hoegler

A Walpole midfielder holds off a Natick player for the ball.

Boys’ soccer is only a few days in, and already, the expectations are high for another successful season. Despite the fact that they finished the 2011 season with a 12-3-3 record and a Herget Division title, the season ended abruptly and disappointedly after a 3-2 letdown against Brockton in the opening round. Now, with nearly ten new players joining the team, the Rebels look to win the Bay State championship, and proceed further into the state tournament.

Boys’ soccer returns six starters, including senior Captain Nolan Murray.  Murray, along with fellow senior captains John Lochead, and Alex Sarkis look to lead the team this year.  All three have at least two years of varsity experience and have been crucial pieces for the last two  tournament teams. Murray, the returning stopper for the Rebels, said in regards to the upcoming season: “I’m excited to get back out there and have a great season. We have a great group of players that have the will to win.”

Murray leads a very resilient defense that includes captain Alex Sarkis, junior Colin Murray, and junior Matt Brownsword —the possible replacements for ex-captain Matt Lavanchy. The 2011 team was second in the Bay State Conference in goals against, and looks to do the same in the forthcoming season.  Sarkis, the assumed sweeper of the team, said, “We definitely have one of the strongest defenses in the league. All we need to do is pick up where we left off and start the season on a solid note.”  Junior Peter Hoegler will start at goalkeeper behind this proficient defense.

However, the chief weakness for the rebels this season will be goal-scoring and offense. After losing 2011 Bay State League MVP Conor Murtagh and All-Bay Sate captain Tim Sullivan to graduation, the team must find other ways to score goals. Senior captain Lochead has already announced that he expects to “completely dominate the offensive third.” He said, “With Murtagh gone, I know I have to pick up on the goal scoring in order for us to win another Bay State championship.” Lochead leads an offense that includes two-year returning starters, junior Bobby Ivatts, senior Connor McCarthy, senior Harvest Perez, senior Caleb Cofsky, and junior AJ Chauvin.

Murray said it well: “In order for us to have another successful season, we must be able to have serious practice intensity and a team that wants to advance further into the tournament.”