Season preview: Boys soccer

0
172

Naugatuck

2020 results: 7-2-1

Graduated: Jonathan Almeida, Tim Rosa, Radsir Vaughn, Justin Barth, Mateus Filho, Chris Akindura, Chad Mahler, Ryan Galiette, Dan Davy, Dave Naulaguari, Iago Ohnesorge, Justin Carroll, Jonathan Jimenez

Seniors: Ryan Kennelly, Manny Silva, Simon Diaz, Ahmed Aljamal, Lucas Regalado, Gabe Williams, Alexander Felix, Julio Perez, Edward Przydzial, Louis Zarella, Adrian Szmitko

Season opener: Sept. 11 vs. St. Paul

The Greyhounds didn’t get the chance to defend their 2019 NVL title because of the abbreviated schedule last season.

Heading into this season, head coach Ryan Kinne knows there are some big shoes to fill in the lineup after the Hounds graduated a host of players with All-NVL and All-State honors on their resumes.

“We did graduate a lot of talent from last year’s team,” Kinne said. “We do have another solid group of seniors coming back, but we also have some big shoes to fill. We will be solid in the back with our defense, as we usually are.”

“We will have a good group at midfield to help direct the flow, but we will need to find the combinations to keep the offense heading in the right direction,” he added. “It was certainly a different vibe last year. Now we are back playing everyone in the league and we have a couple of strong out-of-league opponents, as well. That will help us pick up our game a bit and create a sense of having a lot to play for in the long run.”

Woodland

2020 results: 10-0-1

Graduated: Andi Krivca, Daniel Sargent, Jack Schwarz, Nathaniel Smith

Seniors: Cody Callahan, Luca Cambra, Andrew Hopkinson, Christian Hotchkiss, Sean Hussey, Tyler Lamb, D.J. Mulligan, Diego Sargent, Jake Semrow, Sean Swanson, Nathan Swercewski, Kevin Torres, Taha Turshani, Will Tottenham

Season opener: Sept. 9 vs. Brookfield

The Hawks boast a wealth of experience, not just with 14 seniors but also with several talented younger players who starred on the varsity field last fall. Sean Hussey, Sean Swanson and Christian Hotchkiss are tri-captains. Hotchkiss will return to the pitch after missing last season with a knee injury, while Hussey and Swanson should be one of the league’s best defensive combinations.

Sophomore Preston Alessio earned All-State honors as a rookie, and he’ll team with junior Alex Farr to give Woodland one of the best attacking midfield duos in the area.

Coach Kenan Collins is especially happy for Woodland to return to a full NVL schedule after being confined to the relatively weak Copper Division last fall. The Hawks should contend for a championship.

“(We are) very pleased to have a normal schedule in that we’re playing all of the NVL teams this year,” Collins said. “As always, we will be looking to go deep into the NVL tourney while also getting after state games come November.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article omitted Adrian Szmitko from the list of Naugatuck High School seniors on the boys soccer team.