Brunswick soccer looking to quickly gain varsity experience

Although the Brunswick School soccer team lost a lot of experienced players to graduation last year, head coach Power Fraser still believes this year’s squad could make a lot of noise in a very tough Western New England Private School Soccer League.

With nearly half of this year’s roster new to the varsity program, Fraser knows his squad is going to have to grow as a team rather quickly in order to be successful.

“Because we are starting the year differently than we have in the past couple of years, I think it’s really important for us to play well as a team and compete well,” Fraser said. “That’s where we want to start off. We are working really hard on that in practice right now and until we get a few games under our belt, we need to find ourselves. I know we have the ability to play well and compete well. If we could carry that on, I think we will have a pretty good season.”

After the team’s final game, Nick Bracelet, Patrick Figgie, Cooper Briggs, Brad Hanson, Luke Esposito and Jay Wong all finished their careers at Brunswick

“We had seven starters last year that were on the team for three or more years and started for those three,” Fraser said.

Senior Peter Khoury, who will play the center backfield position, will be the team’s lone captain this year. When it comes to leadership, Khoury is as good as it gets, as he was a varsity starter for the Bruins last year and saw a lot of time on the pitch. In addition to being this year’s captain on the soccer team, he’s also captain of the ice hockey and lacrosse teams.

“He’s a great leader,” Fraser said. “He need to continue the way he played last year. He was a terrific leader, both vocally and by example. He’s going to need that again this year, especially with the younger inexperienced guys.”

“It’s a huge honor for me to be chosen as the only captain here,” Khoury said. “I made this team as a sophomore, and I’m incredibly honored my teammates and coaches chose me. Being a senior on this team is a big responsibility. I want to help out the new guys or the guys that are new to the varsity team. Being on this team is great. It’s one of the most fun teams to be on here at Brunswick.”

Helping Khoury excel this year will be returning starters Harry Heffeman and Frankie Agrest. Both players are entering their junior years and will both occupy the attacking midfield positions, either at striker, center midfield or wide midfielder.

“Those three guys started every single game last year for us and they are going to be our go-to guys throughout the season,” Fraser said. “I also think they will be the catalysts to making everybody a little better.”

Also giving the Bruins a much-needed boost of experience this year will be senior goalkeeper C.J. Murphy.

“We’ve still got a really good core group and a lot of athleticism on the team. However, we are starting off the season with not a lot of game experience,” Fraser said. “I am hoping these kids learn a lot from the early games this year, so that way we can be ready for the end-of-the-season run.”

In addition to the core four, Brunswick will also be led by other returners to the varsity team. Juniors Mark Errichetti and Trevor Hanson are going to be key contributors in the backfield as wing defenders. Also pitching in will be fellow junior Teddy Maynard. In addition to being a stellar athlete, Fraser said Maynard could play either holding center midfielder or stopper back.

Senior Bryan Quackenbush had limited playing time last year due to an injury. Now that he’s back and healthy, Fraser is expecting a lot from his midfielder. Last year Rodrigo Ventosa had a lot of minutes for Brunswick coming off the bench. However, this time around, the senior attacker will be on the starting team and will utilize his creative ability on the field.

Fellow senior Will Floersheimer played last year at the attack position, but will most likely move to the backfield for his senior year. Rounding out the list is junior Owen Shubert, who has been really tough for Brunswick in the middle of the field.

“We have 11 returning lettermen, so for us to really start the year well, those guys need to step up,” Fraser said. “I would like to play the way Brunswick soccer teams are known to play. We competed well in our scrimmages, so we want to do that in every game. After we get some time together, it’s critical that we play well as a team on both ends of the field if we are going to be successful.”

When it comes to its play on the field, Fraser still thinks this year’s team could play the same hard-nosed style that Brunswick School is known for.

“I think we are going to be focusing on being very strong defensively because our league is so tough,” Fraser said. “From there we will work on counterattack. However, we still have some really special players like Harry and Frank that are very gifted in an attacking sense. We can piggyback off of them a little bit.”

“I see a lot of age, but not so much experience,” Khoury said. “There are a lot of guys that are juniors and seniors, but very few have varsity game experience. I am the only returning defender and Frankie and Harry are the only returning midfielders. We have a lot of voids to fill. We have a lot of athletes on the team. We have lacrosse players, baseball players and hockey players here. Once our athleticism gets paired with the experience we will get down the line this season, that’s going to benefit us.”

While the Bruins are a little smaller and inexperienced this year, Fraser believes that this year’s soccer team has a lot of athleticism and thinks it’s one of the team’s main strengths.

“I think our weakness is game experience,” Fraser said. “Half of the team is new to varsity right now, so it’s all about gaining some varsity experience. I think once we get that experience, good things could happen. The kids really understand that sports at the school here are pretty good. Once we get used to playing with each other, I think we’ll be good.”

Khoury still believes that when the end of the season rolls around, the Bruins could be looking to make yet another playoff rush.”

“Throughout the past few years, this team has played well enough where we now expect a playoff berth,” Khoury said. “We can still think that way this year, but it’s going to be tougher. The experience factor here is going to be huge. But I think this team has a right to be very confident. We can expect to make a push for the playoffs.”

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