Speed will boost RCS boys' soccer team

By John Bernhardt
It’s been said that there are five Ss of sports performance; speed, stamina, strength, skill and spirit. Roxbury boys’ soccer coach Tom Faraci’s 2010 team is working hard, moving towards proficiency in all these areas. That could spell a sixth S on the soccer field this fall – success.

“We should be able to run a bit this year,” deadpanned Faraci when describing his team.
“I think we should be fast up and down the field.”

Time after time as he described individual players on his 19-player team, Faraci noted the exceptional running speed of his guys. The Roxbury coach has midfielders with great endurance and a core of strong defenders. You can count on a Roxbury boys’ soccer team having intense competitive spirit, so, if things go according to their natural order, the developing ball skills of his squad could make the difference.

Roxbury should be iron-strong defensively. Stingy defense kept a young team competitive in almost every game last year. With almost everybody back this fall, scoring goals against Roxbury could be a challenge.

Arguably the number one goalie in the league, Garrett Hall, returns for his fourth season in the varsity nets. Fearless and assertive, Hall had a great season as a junior. The senior keeper has worked diligently on his game over the years and will take on a strong leadership role this season.
Joining Hall to form an imposing defensive trio are two senior classmates, Jacob Liberatore and Eddie Williams. Liberatore returns for his third season as the team’s sweeper. “James has great speed, good instincts, and he’s smart. You can count on James every time out for a solid game. Last year at our lowest moments it was James who always seemed to pick us up,” praised Faraci. Faraci marveled at Williams’s blazing speed. Williams will play stopper, layering an iron rod through the middle of the defense.

Returning sophomore Dakota Caronia adds toughness as an outside defensive back. A fierce competitor, Caronia’s playing experience last year as a freshman should reap dividends this fall. Another returning sophomore, Derek Cowan should see time on the back line. Cowan, who works out as the back-up keeper, will be moving from the midfield to the defensive line this year.

First-year sophomore Nick Hamil is preparing on the defensive line. Faraci feels Hamil is a natural and envisions him as a Roxbury sweeper sometime in the future. Freshman Josh Riley adds depth to the defense as well.

Endurance too
Speed and endurance should be a trademark in this season’s Roxbury midfield. Senior Dylan Stock returns to the midfield at an outside slot. Great speed makes Stock a dangerous asset. Two other seniors will be working out in the center of the field. Sean Lutz returns to Roxbury and should provide a boost to the Rocket midfield. Ari Diorta, in his first season of high school soccer, is also learning to play in the midfield.

Junior Kyle Ciaravino is a key midfielder. Strong endurance and a knack for being in the action make Ciaravino a “go to” guy for Roxbury. Ciaravino is a versatile athlete with strong foot skills who is very unselfish and distributes the ball well. Another Junior, John Varrecchia, is a first-year player who has impressed Faraci in the preseason.

Returning sophomore Garrett Hinkley and freshman Chris Walcutt will bolster the midfield. Hinkley’s experience is a plus and Wolcutt has shown good speed and endurance during early season workouts.

Complementing their imposing defense, it’s critical that the Rockets find the nets more consistently this year. A third-year varsity player, senior Kevin Lutz returns as a striker. “Kevin has worked on his game over the summer. He’s much improved,” said Faraci. “Lutz will man the left wing, has a good left foot, and is playing with confidence,” the Roxbury coach finished.
Fast and quick, junior Danny Menne will get a chance to be the finisher Faraci is looking for. Menne is versatile and Faraci feels that as his skill set is refined and his confidence grows, he could be a finisher.

Top scorer back
Fast to the ball and always in the right spot at the right time, sophomore Spencer Hinkley returns as the team’s leading scorer. “Spencer hustles hard and makes every run. Good things generally happen to guys who hustle, and Spencer is usually in the mix when we score,” Faraci explained. Athletic with good ball skills, freshman Charlie Dietrich should also see some time as a striker.
Freshman Tristan Mulder rounds out the roster working on his goaltending skills and doing fieldwork.

Faraci expects a lot or parity in the Delaware League this season with good balance and strength across the league. He believes the addition of the Andes kids at South Kortright tips the scales a bit in SK’s direction, but the league could be a wide-open chase.

“We left the field last season understanding we had good defensive potential but needed to improve our passing and closing skills. We have been working hard to do both during the preseason. The kids are very receptive and have been doing great,” concluded Faraci.

Roxbury opens their season in an opening round game at the Stamford Mayor’s Cup on Thursday at 6 p.m.