Revamped Clarence boys soccer expects to keep on winning
Despite some big graduation losses, it’s business as usual for the perennial-Western New York power Red Devils, who have already emerged as one of the top contenders in ECIC I.
“We’ve got a lot to live up to because of what they’ve done in past years,” junior defender Brian Eliason said. “We’re inexperienced, but skill-wise, we’re very strong We just want to keep working and keep on winning.”
So far, the inexperience has been invisible. The Red Devils started the season at 5-0 and that included a championship at its own tournament, as well as league wins over Williamsville North and Orchard Park.
Despite the graduation losses, the Red Devils have their sights set on another division and sectional championship season. It won’t be easy against the top large schools in Western New York, but no matter who’s on the roster, you know Clarence is going to be a force.
“So far, so good, but we are young and we are going to make mistakes,” coach Mike Silverstein said. “We just have to keep learning from them.”
There is a solid group of returning players that have already stepped up this season to lead the Red Devils.
Senior forward Brendan Law scored three goals and added two assists in the first four games and Eliason held the team lead with three assists. Junior midfielder Sam Wasson, senior midfielder Joe Rosenberry and senior Austin Steck are also expected to provide leadership.
The biggest graduation loss was in net. Goalkeeper Hunter Hein has departed after a stellar four-year run and is now playing in college at Florida Tech, a Division II school in Melbourne. He was a two-time All-Western New York awards and set the Section VI career shutouts record with 31.
Juniors Michael Biedny and Christian Farage have both seen success in the net during the opening month of the season for the Red Devils.
“After Hunter’s long run, we have a new goalie,” Silverstein said. “We’ve got two good ones, though, in Christian and Michael.”
The Red Devils have 12 seniors and 10 juniors on the roster but “as far as playing experience, we’re very young,” Silverstein said. Many have stepped up already, however, as eight different Clarence players found the net in the opening four games.
They’ll need all the help they can get in battling some of the big schools around, including defending Class AA champion Lancaster.
“I think North, Lancaster, OP and us are going to battle all season long,” Silverstein said. “It’s going to be a dog-fight back and forth.”