Brunswick Soccer ready to battle the best in WNEPSSA

The Brunswick School soccer team is gearing up for the fall season during a practice at the Maher Ave. campus field last week. — John Ferris Robben photo

The Brunswick School soccer team is gearing up for the fall season during a practice at the Maher Ave. campus field last week. — John Ferris Robben photo

While the Brunswick School soccer team isn’t the biggest squad in the area, head coach Power Fraser and the rest of the Bruins are going to use its experience and athletic athletes to be one of the teams in the hunt for a postseason appearance.

“We only have 10 returning lettermen coming back here, so I wasn’t sure what to expect out of the team this year,” Fraser said. “However so far I see that we are very athletic, have some speed and we have a couple of new additions that will compliment the guys that are returning nicely. I think the season is going to look good for us.”

Leading the way for Brunswick this season will be senior Marshall Dickson and junior Sal Lopez. Both Bruins have reached a lot of success in their tenure with the school.

“I am very happy with this team,” Lopez said. “I think we have a lot of good players on the team this year and we should be really good. We are a skilled team. We are lacking in size, but with our skill I think we can overcome our size. We’re a smart team that is good with its passing. I honestly think this team can get to the playoffs if we play as good as we should.”

Last year Dickson was a key member of the boys lacrosse team that were New England co-champions, while Lopez was an WNEPSSA All-Star last fall for the soccer team as a sophomore.

“Marshall is one of the top lacrosse players for us, and in the region, and has been a two-year letterman for us,” Fraser said. “He will play the midfield and adds that multi-sport aspect for us. Marshall is really competitive and knows what it takes to be a winner. One of the best players that we will have in the program is Sal. He was an honorable mention in WNEPSSA and a starter last year. Sal plays soccer at a very high level and brings that knowledge and playing ability to us. We are looking for those guys to lead the team.”

Members of the Brunswick School soccer team practice last week. — John Ferris Robben photo

Members of the Brunswick School soccer team practice last week. — John Ferris Robben photo

Dickson said that playing at such a high level for the lacrosse program in the spring will help him, both on and off the field, for soccer.

“I learned a lot from the leaders on the lacrosse team and how to be successful,” Dickson said. “It’s cool that I can bring that to the soccer field. It’s a totally different game, but a lot of the same captain leadership roles apply.”

One of the keys for Brunswick will be between the pipes. Last year’s starting goaltender, Will Solomon, left the team to focus more on his performance on the baseball diamond. Replacing an athlete that played every game last year for the Bruins will be tough, however Brunswick soccer has two goalies ready to fill the void.

Junior Aiden Schubert was a starter in defense for the Bruins last year at defense as a sophomore. Also looking for starting time on the varsity roster is senior Ben Rogers, who also competed last spring with the lacrosse team.

Helping the goalies gain confidence this season will be a bunch of returning defenders to the pitch. In addition to Schubert, other returning standouts at defense leading the way will be juniors Grant Quackenbush and Thomas Errichetti, as well as seniors Anders Ashforth and Matt Wysocki.

“I think we have enough balance on the attack and defense where the defense will try and possess it and clear it to our target attacking players,” Fraser said. “However they are aggressive and athletic enough where as soon as our opponent gets in the attack, we are going to be all over and contest every shot.”

Brunswick School head coach Power Fraser instructs his team during last week's practice. — John Ferris Robben photo

Brunswick School head coach Power Fraser instructs his team during last week’s practice. — John Ferris Robben photo

Also putting in key minutes at defense will be newcomers Jared Boothe and Jared McCloskey, both juniors.

Lopez and Dickson will be returning to the team’s midfield this season and will be joined by junior Alvaro Ventosa, who has been on the team since his freshman season. When not at defense, Wysocki will see some valuable minutes up at midfield.

“It’s great to be leader on this team,” Dickson said. “We have a pretty small senior class this year, so I am one of the guys the team looks up to. Hopefully I cam live up to the challenge. I think we make up for our size with our ability and athleticism. We are playing against teams that are playing all year, so we need our athletes to be at the top of their game. We are one of the most athletic teams in the league.”

At the attack will be juniors Nate Stuart and Jack Stephenson, and both have had outstanding preseason. Freshman Tyler Shaver will also see some time at the attack this season.

“Right now I think that Sal will be our go-to person for scoring goals,” Fraser said. “Sal will be one of our key attacking players. Jack and Nate are looking really good and I would not be surprised if they find the back of the net quite a bit this year. As the season moves on and we are getting more comfortable with each other, we will attack with 10 players and defend with 10 players. I think because of our speed and our size, we are going to counterattack a little bit more and try to get the ball forward as quickly as we can. We want to get numbers going forward and push that away. We hope to clear from the back and push it up and catch our opponents a little off-guard.”

Getting ready for the start of the season, Fraser has noticed that the team’s athletic ability is the strength early on.

“We also have great leadership from our captains, but also our returning lettermen have been an amazing surprise,” Fraser said. “It’s been great because they all stepped up and tried to be a key part in us getting ready for the start of the season. As a team I want us to get better every week, I want to defend really well and I want to attack really well. Last year I thought we defended pretty well, but because we were so young, I think we let in more goals than we should of. I want to see good balance. In our first scrimmage I thought we had a lot of great ideas at attack, but we weren’t able to get it together. The defense was really strong.”

For Fraser, despite the team’s lack of size, he still sees Brunswick one of the teams in the mix for a postseason appearance.

“I think I see us being a lot further along in all areas of the game from where we were when we started,” Fraser said. “This team has the ability to improve and compete at a high level. We have a high mindset and work ethic so far and I think that’s going to help us go far. Last year I thought we competed well against teams that were even with us or not as good as us. I think we will do that again this year, but also think we will do that with teams better than us this year as well.”

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