Girls Soccer preview: Bobcats expect big things

The Bobcats of South Windsor look to remain on a high level, after losing All-State striker Christine Allard and six other seniors from its 15-3 team a year ago. They lost to eventual champion Newtown, 2-1 in last year’s Class LL tournament.

All is not lost for the Bobcats, as they return All-Conference midfielder Kat Comeau. They also have experience at defender and midfield as well, with Auna Harvey and Rebecca Karlins, respectively. Coach Ed Duclos, entering his third season as head coach feels his team will still be a factor come tournament time. “If we can stay healthy, develop some depth, and continue to improve daily, we will be a contender in states.”

Tolland

Ken Boucher’s Eagles will be in a rebuilding year in his 6th season as coach after graduating nine lettermen, including seven starters from their 14-3-1 2012 team that made it to the second round of the Class M tournament before being eliminated by rival Ellington.

“We are young with less experience than we have had in the past. Mistakes will occur but can we overcome and adjust.“ The Eagles will be led this season by senior captains Kirsten Fagan (defender), Andie Devaney (defender) and Jenny Jacobs (midfielder/forward).

Boucher said “For us to be successful, we need to be in-tune, know and execute our roles and play as a team with discipline. When it’s on, it pops, but we need to try to do that for 80 minutes. We need to push each other and ourselves, opt into the team plan and our role with the team and play soccer.”

Rockville

Newly hired Marek Przybylek takes over for Jennifer Brindisi after she spent 14 years as the head coach of the Rams girls soccer team. Przybylek previously was an assistant coach at AIC in Springfield and spent time playing in Europe.

The team is coming off of a 4-12 season and Przybylek said it is too early to make any predictions, but he believes his team will have a lot of long term success due to the fact that he will be playing a lot of freshmen this season. The team has just two starting seniors.

Ellington

There is a new name in Ellington at the top post for the girls soccer team. Well, a new first name at least. Melissa Morgan-Hostetler takes over for her husband, John as head coach. It will be the third coach in three years for the Knights. Morgan-Hostetler spent 16 years at South Windsor High with a 203-60-23 career record. The 2013 year team will look to replace leading goal scorer, GiGi Rubino from a year ago, as well as goalie Kiarra Stone. Those players lead the Knights to a quarterfinals appearance in the Class M tournament a year go.

However, they do return two All-NCCC players in Olivia Kosilla and Emily Costanzo. The team will have the task of competing in one of the toughest conferences in the state as Avon, Granby and Suffield will surely be competing for top honors.

Glastonbury

After back to back Class LL championship game appearances, including a 2011 title, the Tomahawks find themselves in a rare rebuilding year heading into the 2013 campaign.

After graduating five players from the 19-1 team last year, the girls will be lead by goalkeeper Ciara Boucher, and defenders Sydney Keene and Audrey Spencer.

A division title this year may not be as easy to come by this season as Manchester, South Windsor and Northwest Catholic battle for CCC supremacy.

Coach Joe Finocchiaro’s message is simple: “Our main focus right now is to take each day, one day at time and get stronger together.”

The Tomahawks open their season Wednesday, September 11 at Tolland.

Windsor Locks

After a 7-5-4 mark last season in which the Raiders advanced to the second round of the Class S tournament, coach Jim O’Brien is optimistic. Returning for O’Brien’s team are Alie LaDuke, Kalya Pelletier, Nancy Montemerlo, Rachel Loughran, Heily Johnson, Shelbie Carr, Tayler Nelson, Carley Hoynoski, Tiana Edwards and Dominique Boyd. Carr was an All-NCCC performer last season and the team’s leading goal scorer.

“I think we have incredible depth. This is our most competitive team,” O’Brien said. He expects 16-18 players to compete for playing time.

“I think offensively we will have some solid production I think defensively we have some kids that can defend,” O’Brien said.

Amber Curren, called up from JV from last season will be the team’s goal keeper, replacing All-Stater Chelsea Santos, who graduated.

Suffield

Led by all-everything forward Brittany Champagne and defender Jillian Consolini, coach David Sullivan’s Wildcats will once again be a team to watch in both conference race and in the state tournament.

The team will be competing in Class LL this season. Champagne, named All-NCCC, All-State and All-New England as a junior finished the season with 37 goals and 22 assists in 2012. It will be a two-headed monster on offense as Reilly Williams also returns.

Williams, an All-NCCC selection last season finished with 22 goals a season ago. Sullivan, entering his 16th season said “ If we stay healthy we should be able to be a contender in NCCC and have strong showing in Class L.”

It will be a fight for the NCCC crown, as defending Class L champion Avon returns a number of experienced players.

East Windsor

The Panthers are looking to improve on a tough 1-15 campaign from 2012 in which the team scored just nine goals. The team features a very senior-laden starting lineup, including 2012 All-NCCC midfielder, Sam Couture.

After an impressive first year in net, Makinsey Carolus will return as goalie for her senior season. Coach Bill Arzt has a lot of confidence in the character of his team. “No egos. Just a great group looking to play hard and put some wins on the board,” Arzt said.

As always, the NCCC is front loaded with Suffield, Avon and Granby, so making a run at a conference title will be a tall task.

“With great youth programs and the numbers they have extremely solid programs. Many other teams in our league are also solid and the coaches seem to always have their teams ready to play,” Arzt said.

Somers

It was a pretty successful inaugural season for Mike Pantuosco as his team advanced to the second round of the Class S state tournament in 2012. Pantuosco is hoping the Spartans can build upon that success in 2013.

“Our goal is to get a couple of home playoff games,” Pantuosco said. The team does have the potential to do so, returning eight starters, as long as the team can cut down substantially on goals against.”

Enfield

Ashley Hurley’s Raiders look to capitalize on their 9-7 season and berth in the Class M tournament from a year ago.

The team sports a lot of freshmen, including one starter, Regina LeBlanc. The team’s captains will be Jordyn Walsh, Rachel Bearse and Samantha Dumas.

Hurley said the Raiders will be able to “hold their own” in the tough NCCC, which sports defending Class L champion, Avon, Suffield, and Granby.

Stafford

Rachel Caneen takes over the Stafford program as previous head coach Steve Budaj stepped down to focus on coaching the softball team. Caneen played at CCSU. After graduating, she hopped on as coach for the JV team at the high school.

The team will need to replace standout Kianna Woods who graduated in 2013, and was one of the top players in the state. The team does, however, have 10 returning varsity players and 11 sophomores, making it a strong possibility the team can grow together and have long term success.

Look for sophomores Brianna Reeves and Jordan Sierra to be making some noise. Captains on this year’s team are Jordan Hosey, who Caneen describes as a positive leader and Alexa Rossi.

Fermi

After the departure of Robert Evans, Matt Hay takes over as the new head coach of the Fermi girls soccer team. Hay hopes his team can improve on the 6-10 record of last season and make the state tournament.

The Falcons will have overcome the loss of nine starters from last year’s team, but the return of all-conference player Ashley Kennedy will help. Kennedy let the team in scoring last season.

The team, however, will return Ashley Kennedy, an all-conference selection and the team’s leading goal scorer from a year ago.

“The leadership of our seniors will guide our team to a successful season,” Hay said.

 

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