MONROE, CT — Brendan Cavanaugh, head coach of the Masuk High boys soccer team, has high hopes for his new-look lineup, which graduated a bulk of its starters from a year ago.
The Panthers will look to contend for a South-West Conference championship and the season gets going Tuesday, Sept. 13, when defending SWC champ Weston visits at 7 p.m.
“I think we have a chance to surprise a lot of people again this season and we will continue to strive to achieve our goals of winning an SWC title and making a run in states. Additionally, we had a huge turnout this year at tryouts having 30 freshman try out,” Cavanaugh said. “I am very excited for the future of the program. It shows there is a lot of interest in the program and it shows how our alumni have helped put Masuk soccer back on the map.”
Captains are goalkeeper Chris Simoulidis, midfielder Roger Fekete and defender Riley O’Donnell. A lot will be asked, not only of these leaders, but also teammates who will have to step up.
“With losing 12 seniors and eight starters, I am expecting returning players to take on much bigger roles within the program,” Cavanaugh said.
That said, the Panthers do boast some experience and upperclassmen.
“We have 12 returning players and nine seniors. The trio of Roger Fekete, Tristan Pike and Kasper Murzinski, I believe, will be one of the best midfields within the SWC,” the coach said.
A significant injury has created a big void, but also opened the door for someone.
“Losing junior forward and All-Conference member Jasper Pike to an ACL injury is a huge loss for our squad. Players need to step up and fill his void,” Cavanaugh said.
“Our defense is solid, led by all upperclassman,” the coach added. “We also have some young newcomers as well that will help our team throughout the season.”