Fall sports preview: Wrecker booters shoot for 4th straight FCIAC title
Updated 3:06 am, Friday, September 16, 2011
Staples is the New York Yankees of FCIAC boys soccer, only better.
Of the 50 years the FCIAC has hosted the boys soccer tournament, the Wreckers have claimed the title 27 times. This year, like its counterpart in the Bronx, Staples will be attempting to hoist a championship trophy for the 28th time.
With three straight FCIAC titles under its belt, the Wreckers will look for a four-peat. For the seniors, this will be especially meaningful, as they have the opportunity to earn a championship in each of their four years as a part of Staples soccer.
"There is not one person on the roster who will be satisfied with anything less than both an FCIAC and a state championship," senior co-captain Jake Malowitz said. "I think that if we continue to work hard and continue to maintain a positive attitude this team will be a force."
Though Staples returns a strong core of players and leaders, the squad suffered its fair share of losses. Of the seniors last year, eight were starters, four of which are playing Division I soccer this season.
"Those are huge shoes to fill," Wreckers coach Dan Woog said. "But that's the nature of high school sports. Good players move on, and it's the job of a top program to replace them. We're actually a senior-dominated team this year, with lots of guys who have been in supporting roles in the past ready to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight."
Without some of its seemingly omnipresent fixtures in the lineup like Brendan Lesch, now at Notre Dame, Frankie Bergonzi at Colgate, Sean Gallagher at the Naval Academy and Greg Gudis at Columbia, the Wreckers will look to new leadership and a new style of play.
"We've got a different look than last year -- different scorers, a little different style -- but the coaching staff and I are very, very pleased with what we've seen so far. This year's team likes each other, they love the game, and they're eager to start playing," Woog said.
Hickok said,. "This year will be totally different than last year -- not only the players on the field, but the way we play, and the attitude we play with. With the extremely successful tradition of the Staples soccer program on our back, I promise this year will only further extend that tradition."