Returning coach starts a new culture and new outcome

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Boys soccer has started this year’s season with a promising record of two wins, one tie, and zero losses. This is the best start the boys have had in the past four years.

Javier Prince, a senior, attributes the team’s winning attitude to their new coaching staff, including Head Coach Sal Emmanuele and JV coach Tony Pizzuto. During their 1-1 tie at Northwest Catholic, Prince said Coach Emmanuele told the team to “keep fighting, keep fighting” despite being down a goal, eventually rallying the team to a late goal to tie the game with nine minutes left.

Last season’s team enjoyed a fairly successful season. However, the team lacked morale and chemistry. There were a lot of questions about previous coach John Harder’s methods. When asked about how it was playing under Harder, this year’s senior captain Connor Vogel said, “The name says it all [Harder]. He wasn’t good at getting the team motivated.”

Emmanuele’s tactics have certainly rejuvenated a team that has been fairly flat in recent years and offered a change of pace to the previous year’s coaching methods. The team is playing and winning in a way spectators have yet to see.

In addition to the coach’s plans for success, Captain Jayden Koski, a junior, has been keeping the team in line to ensure more wins. “I make sure that everyone is working his or her hardest in practices and in games… I also strive to make sure that there is always a positive team environment.”

In terms of future goals, the team is looking for steady improvement. “The goal of the team is to qualify for the State Tournament. We would like to be state title contenders in the future, and continue building a successful program,” said Koski. Notable matches this season include away game against rivals Berlin on October 1, their home game against Simsbury on October 9 — which is also Boy’s Soccer’s “Go Pink” game, October 15’s game at home against Plainville, and the regular season closer at home on October 29 against Berlin.

With the 2018 season starting with two wins and a tie, it’s hard to argue against this season turning out better than previous seasons for the program. The boys have already seen a large improvement in their first three games of the season, with an undefeated record, as this year shapes up to be a crucial stepping stone for the future of the school’s soccer team.

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