Tough schedule doesn’t deter Brunswick soccer team in postseason quest

Brunswick School sophomore Will Salomon makes the save on the ball during last week's practice. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Brunswick School sophomore Will Salomon makes the save on the ball during last week’s practice. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Despite having a young roster and one of the most challenging schedules around, head coach Power Fraser still has the expectations that his Brunswick School soccer team will be battling for a spot in the postseason tournament come November.

“We are very young, but are strengths are our athleticism and multi-sport athlete, which we always have at Brunswick,” Fraser said. “We got a strong returning senior class, which is going to be the key to our success. We got six kids that have started for us last year and they are going to be leaders all over the field. Right now we are figuring ourselves out as a team by blending in the new and young with the veteran leaders. I think we are in pretty good shape and I’m happy.”

Last season, the Bruins finished the season with a 6-6-2 overall record and a 5-5-2 mark in the Western New England Private School Soccer Association. They beat teams like Taft School (3-2), Westminster (2-0), Hopkins School (3-1), Gunnery School (6-1) and Trinity Pawling twice (4-0 and 6-4 PK).

This year, with a focus on defense, Brunswick School will be looking to grab a few more wins.

“We got a lot of good athletes and that’s always good for us,” senior co-captain Harry Heffernan said. “We have to work on our soccer skill and work on our tactics. We got to mesh together and I think we could be great together. I really think we could be good.”

In addition to Heffernan, Brunswick soccer will be led by Teddy Maynard and both are returning starters from last year’s team.

“I have been on the team since my sophomore year and we’ve had great leaders my entire time in the program,” Heffernan said. “Teddy and I have to keep that tradition of great captains going.”

“They are really good competitors and strong athletes,” Fraser said. “Harry could be one of the best players in the league and Teddy is one of the best athletes in the school. We are pretty blessed having those two as leaders of this team.”

Coming into the season, Maynard said that he never imagined that he would be named one of the captains of this year’s team.

“I was excited just to be a senior on the team and to be a returning starter that could help the younger kids,” Maynard said. “It was amazing when I found out I was one of the captains. Being able to speak on the field and to keep kids on the same page is pretty important, but I am up for the job.”

With the loss of goalie C. J. Murphy to graduation, Brunswick will have two athletes vying for the starting role, as senior Sivan Sud and sophomore Will Salomon have been battling tough throughout the preseason. Both were on the junior varsity team last year and both got valuable time between the pipes.

“Will was a starting catcher on the baseball team as a freshman and Sivan has been in the program forever,” Fraser said. “I think Will got the varsity experience through his time on the baseball team and Sivan has been playing in our soccer program for a long time and knows what Brunswick soccer is all about.”

Members of the Brunswick School soccer team get instruction from head coach Power Fraser prior to the start of practice last week. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Members of the Brunswick School soccer team get instruction from head coach Power Fraser prior to the start of practice last week. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Because both goaltenders shared about half the time in net at the JV level, they each have a good amount of experience.

“They are both fearless, which is a great quality for a goaltender to have,” Fraser said. “They both have good hands and are both really good in traffic. The only thing they both lack is varsity experience.”

Helping the duo of Sud and Salomon will be a stingy defense. The senior trio of Owen Schubert, Trevor Hanson and Mark Errichetti could be rotated at outside defense. All three have been in the program since sophomore year.

“They will provide a load of experience because they each played a ton for us over the years at the varsity level,” Fraser said. “It will be nice to have that experience in the back.”

Senior Jacob Schultehinrichs, a foreign exchange student from Frankfurt, Germany, will be strong presence in the center of defense.

“He is a big, physical kid who loves to play soccer,” Fraser said. “He’s a sweet kid and actually his level of play goes up in game situations. That’s great for us.”

Helping out at defense will be two younger siblings on the team, sophomores Thomas Errichetti, Aidan Schubert. In addition, sophomore Grant Quackenbush, the bother of recent graduate and soccer standout Bryan Quackenbush, will pitch in as well.

“Our league is hard and I think we have one of the toughest schedules again,” Fraser said. “Half our opponents in our league this year were in the tournament last year. Every game is going to be tough for us and our defense needs to step up and keep the ball away from the net. They all need to gain experience and our opposition is going to be pretty intense. They need to play Brunswick defense, which is tenacious, never quit, contest every shot, win the ball, everybody goes forward and you defend with 11 and attack with 11.”

Co-captains Heffernan and Maynard will be occupying the midfield for Brunswick this year. As a freshman last year, Sal Lopez had a stellar season and this year Fraser will have him play one side of the midfield or play up front. Sophomore Alvaro Ventosa has also been playing at midfield.

“The expectations are once again really high here,” Maynard said. “We have a lot of really good athletes on the team that play other sports as well. We also have a lot of talented veteran soccer players, so we all need to all get on the same page. A lot of skill is done in the preseason.”

In addition to the midfielders, Fraser might give them some help from some of the veterans behind them.

“I’m not sure yet, but I might have some of the guys in the back that have experience might move up and play some midfield,” Fraser said. “Owen might play midfield and Mark might join him as well. However, I am very confident with Sal, Teddy and Harry coming back.”

Senior Sebestian Foster, a star on the Brunswick School ice hockey team, will be returning to his role as a mainstay attacker on the soccer team this fall. Lopez, Heffernan also might see some time with Foster at the attack. However, senior Hayes Murphy, the No. 1 squash player for the Bruins, could see some time at attack, with sophomore Nate Stuart, freshman Jack Stephenson or senior Ian Coupe.

“Because the competition that we play is tough, we are going to have our offense started by our defense,” Fraser said. “We are going to work really hard on defending extremely well and then swinging the ball over to our counterattack. We are going to try and put the ball up as quickly as possible forward and get our numbers up. If there is nothing forward, we will drop it back wide and flood the box with our athletes. We have had success with that in the past and I don’t think that will change this year.”

While a key strength for the Bruins is the nice mix of veteran leadership and talented athletes, Fraser knows there’s still work to be done if they want to finish the season successfully.

“I would love to see them not worry about competing and gain confidence,” Fraser said. “I think we will compete well this year, but I would like to see them come together as a unit. I think this team needs to play as well as any team we’ve ever had as a unit in order to be really successful. I would love to see everybody on the same page, whether it’s defending or attacking.”

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