St. Joe’s soccer more well suited in 2013 to be contenders
The Marauders opened the 2013 campaign in fine fashion as they notched two wins over the weekend. They blanked Williamsville North 2-0 on Sept. 7 then topped Orchard Park, 2-1, the following day.
Head coach Mike Thoin said that with the cast of returning veterans that he has on the roster everyone is excited and optimistic about what they can accomplish as a group.
“I think all the boys feel that way,” said Thoin. “Especially the kids that are coming in as juniors this year. They were the ones that suffered a little bit last year because they played a lot as sophomores. They’re bigger and they understand the game more now.”
Junior Will Boerema returns between the pipes. Thoin said Boerema was outstanding and the lone goal the junior gave up in the first two games was more of a result of a brief defensive lapse in focus.
But make no mistake, the Marauders do return a solid defensive wall led by seniors Andrew Lutley and Armond June.
Juniors Henry Frome and Marcus d’Aguiar will be controlling play in the midfield, while forwards Brendan Cryan, a senior, and Hunter Walsh (junior) will be counted on to score.
Thoin said that many of his players — especially this year’s junior class, get a lot of quality playing time last year which should make them better. Thoin said that, physically, many of his returning players shot up a few inches, which should give them a fighting chance to win 50-50 balls.
“They learned to play quicker. They learned to have better control, better touch and they also learned that this year there’s such a thing as 50-50 balls,” Thoin said. “That didn’t occur so much last year because they were so little. We lost nine games last year by a goal and usually it was because a 50-50 ball went the other way.”
Those one-goal loses have also given the Marauders a bit of an edge as they come into the new year. This season, they feel they have the mental toughness and experience to win those close games, according to Thoin.
Thoin was also pleased to see the scoring spread out in the first two games as four different players accounted for all four goals.
“They know this year, because they’ve grown and matured a year, they’ll be in every game,” Thoin noted.
Along with playing MMAA rivals Nichols, St. Francis and Canisius three times each, St. Joe’s has a non-league schedule that also includes Williamsville East and defending Section VI Class B champion East Aurora.