Several Main Line high school boys’ soccer teams had strong seasons in 2016, including PIAA state champion Conestoga (25-1), Lower Merion (15-3-1), Episcopal Academy (15-7-3) and Radnor (10-7-1). Many of the players from these teams are returning for the fall 2017 campaign. Here’s a look at the Main Line high school boys’ soccer teams are they kick off the fall season:
Head coach: David Zimmerman, 16th year.
Last year’s record: 25-1 overall (PIAA Class AAAA state champions), 11-0 Central League (champions).
Key returnees: senior midfielder Nick Jennings (2016 All-American), senior striker Chris Donovan, senior defender Mike McCarthy, senior midfielder Rodrigo Martinez, junior goalkeeper Luke Smith.
Others to watch: senior striker Logan Schwartz, senior striker Nino Mauro, senior defender Andrew Castleman, senior midfielder Jeff Charles.
Lost to graduation: defender Gabe Harms (Ohio State), striker Mason Miller (Colgate), midfielder Blaise Milanek (Lehigh), defender Will Klein (Haverford).
Outlook: “Experience will be one of our biggest strengths, as we return a number of seasoned veterans from last year’s state championship team. The biggest challenge will be navigating the difficulties and obstacles that typically haunt a team the season after a championship season.”
Head coach: Brian McKinney, first year.
Key returnees: senior defender Frank Byrd (“the center of our defense, a rock,” said McKinney); senior midfielder John Curran (“our playmaker,” said McKinney); senior defender Joe Berretone; senior midfielder Drew Maslanka; junior Nick Bello (Tides’ leading scorer in 2016).
Others to watch: senior midfielder AJ Gardiner, senior forward Charlie Verna, senior forward Brandon Hoang, senior defender Matt Koskinen, senior forward Alec Corsi, junior forward Connor Kelly, junior midfielder Alex Furtek, junior defender Jake Thomas; junior goalies Luke Grycewicz and Colman Egan, junior defender Matt Drauschak, junior Geordy Kweder, sophomore Aidan Ringiewicz.
Outlook: McKinney said, “We have a lot of strong senior leaders. I’m excited at the level of talent and work ethic of the team, and we’re ready for a successful season.”
Head coach: David Knox, ninth year.
Last year’s record: 15-7-3 overall, 6-3-1 Inter-Ac (second place).
Key returnees: senior defender and co-captain Johnny Cunningham, senior defender and co-captain Nick Wallick, senior forward Spencer Higgins, junior midfielder Harrison Malone.
Others to watch: junior forward Nate Ekpo, junior midfielder Samuel Wilson, senior forward Christopher Bassett, sophomore goalkeeper Trevor Manion.
Lost to graduation: goalkeeper Matt Freese (Harvard), forward Quinn Dudek (Davidson), goalie AJ Marcucci (Connecticut College).
Outlook: Knox said, “We have a strong, talented and experienced squad that is determined to better the previous two years league finishes as Inter-Ac runners-up.”
Head coach: Galen Guindon, sixth year.
Last year’s record: 12-6-1 overall, 6-2-1 Friends’ Schools League.
Key returnees: junior forward Ingram Dillingham, junior midfielder Carson Lonner, junior defender Liam Sullivan, junior midfielder Lucas McGrann, junior forward Miles Johnson.
Others to watch: senior defender Dale Decator, junior midfielder Max Cohen, freshman midfielder Jared Lonner.
Lost to graduation: midfielder Matt Blackman (playing at Wesleyan), goalie Nolan McGrann (playing at Gettysburg), forward Asa Bell (playing at Guilford).
Outlook: Guindon said, “We will look to build off of last year’s 12-win season. With 11 players lost to graduation, we will search for a new identity and rely on a deep junior class to carry the load early on. Lonner, Dillingham, Sullivan and Johnson provide a strong core up the middle while others fill into new and expanded roles. How quickly this young group can get up to speed will determine the success of the team.”
Head coach: Biff Sturla, 16th year.
Last year’s record: 8-11 overall, 4-7 Central League.
Key returnees: The Rams return eight starters from last year, including junior midfielder and captain Alex Kades (scored 14 goals and five assists last year, was first team All-Central League and Rams’ MVP); senior defender and second-year captain Ethan Rodgers (was second team All-Central in 2015, missed over half the season last year due to injury); senior defender and captain Emil Andersen (honorable mention All-Central last year); junior midfielder Evan Tracy (honorable mention All-Central last year); senior striker Serhat Sakarcan (scored eight goals and 10 assists last year); senior defender Jamie Bregman; senior midfielder Noah Cox; and sophomore midfielder Mikkel Andersen (scored five goals last year).
Others to watch: senior striker Jake Grossman (scored five goals last year), junior midfielder Justin Nachman (third year on varsity).
Lost to graduation: outside back Brian Lorenz, center back Joe Magee-Billson.
Outlook: Sturla said, “We were very young in 2016, playing at most three seniors at any time. Our seniors last year combined to score only one goal, while our underclassmen scored 39, so our offense should be quite strong. Most of our defense is back as well. The team will be in huge need of finding a goalkeeper and much of our pre-season effort will be spent training and evaluating our goalies. New JV coach Alex Srolis was a four year starter for the West Chester University women’s team in goal and has been given the task of developing our goalies in time for the start of the season.”
Head coach: David Cassanelli, second year.
Last year’s record: 11-6-1 overall, 6-5 Central League.
Key returnees: junior forward Cam Morse, senior forward Chris Rose, senior defender Conor Brown, senior defender Wilson Dodds, senior defender Keilan Barber, senior midfielder Matt Billbrough, junior midfielder Alex Reardon.
Others to watch: senior midfielder Sean Lutz, junior midfielder Marc Mays, junior defender/midfielder Will Gardner, sophomore midfielder Aidan Tripler.
Lost to graduation: forward Sean Cannon, midfielder Josh Cunningham (Cabrini), goalie Nicholas DeFeo (playing baseball at Ursinus).
Outlook: Cassanelli said, “We are an experienced and deep team with talented reserves. I think the boys know we have a solid team, but it’s tough to replace a few all-league players. We have capable replacements, but it’s important that we all buy into the team. I think it would be a disappointment to everyone involved with this team not to finish in the top half of a challenging Central League.”
Head coach: Bill Brady, seventh year.
Last year’s record: 9-10-4 overall, 4-5-1 Inter-Ac.
Key returnees: senior goalie Will Baltrus, senior midfielder Parker Gravina, junior defender Griffin Wada, junior forward Nick Pippis, senior forward Nik Golz.
Others to watch: junior forward Will Micheletti, senior defender Mike Pilkington.
Lost to graduation: defender Josh Ridenhour (Skidmore).
Outlook: Brady said, “Our junior class is heavy in talent with many boys pushing each other for playing time so depth should be a strength. The biggest challenge will be finding the right balance to the lineup, considering that we have that many players of equal ability. It is important that we use the ultra competitive non-conference schedule as a means to prepare for the Inter-Ac season.”
Head coach: Nicholas Severini, eighth year.
Last year’s record: 15–3–1 overall, 8-2-1 Central League.
Key returnees: junior midfielder Tim O’Hare, senior defender Zach Goldstein.
Others to watch: senior goalie Sebastian Connelly, junior striker Harrison Bloch.
Lost to graduation: Sebastian Jenkins (F & M), Ryan Tillman (Bowdoin).
Outlook: Severini said, “The tone for the year will be set during preseason. We graduated 11 seniors, several of which will be playing in college. This year will be a fun challenge and the team will commit to playing hard and showing strong team camaraderie.”
Head coach: Andrew Kummerer, third year.
Last year’s record: 7-8-4 overall, 5-3-2 Inter-Ac.
Key returnees: senior goalie Jake Hodlofski, senior defender Lucas Hammond, senior forward Valentino Badalamenti.
Others to watch: junior midfielder Logan Cattie, junior midfielder Chris Ryan.
Lost to graduation: forward Billy Coyle, defender Cullen Pina (Swarthmore), defender Nate Albergo.
Outlook: Kummerer said, “Our biggest strengths are versatility to play different styles, and many players who can play different positions. We have a strong returning core to our back line, too. We need someone to step up and score goals for us.”
Head coach: Joe Caruolo, sixth year.
Last year’s record: 13-7-3 overall.
Key returnees: senior forward Ryan Peter, senior defender Philip Gilbert, junior midfielder/defender Ben Verbofsky, junior goalkeeper Henry Cooke.
Others to watch: senior defender Zach Quinn, sophomore midfielder Jackson Birtwistle, junior midfielder Peter Miller.
Lost to graduation: forward Jack Miller, goalkeeper Ben Toomey, midfielder Andrew Boujoukos (playing for Ithaca College), center back Cal Congleton, center back Phil Regan.
Outlook: Caruolo said, “We will look to keep the ball a little more in possession this year, all the while trying to generate a good amount of chances in the attacking third. We will have to defend set pieces vigorously this year, but this coachable group will look to make some noise in the Central League and District One AAA playoffs.”
Head coach: Thomas Schauerman, 12th year.
Last year’s record: 9-10-2 overall, 3-4-1 Friends’ School League.
Key returnees: sophomore midfielder Umar Savinson, sophomore midfielder Brian McDaid, sophomore midfielder Alex Smith, junior midfielder John Lenart, junior midfielder Jude Corr, junior striker Oscar Southwell, senior goalie Kyle Blumenthal, senior midfielder Ian McGrath, senior midfielder Ronan Higgins, senior defender Zach Bradlow, senior defender Nolan Hamilton, senior defender Emlyn Thorogood, senior defender Griffin Gallagher.
Lost to graduation: striker Ashkon Ashrafion, striker Jack Dougherty, striker Bradley Lawrence, striker Matt Blumenthal, midfielder Ted Rogers, goalie Jesse Haines (playing for Endicott College).
Outlook: Schauerman said, “We will be relying on a big returning group (13 players) and seven returning seniors. The seniors will lead the Gators with their experience from the past four seasons playing for Shipley and the coaching staff believes they can set the tone every day at training. We return a large amount of All-Main Line and All-Friends’ School League players, so the quality is there. Another [advantage] is our strength of schedule. We start the season off playing scrimmages/matches against Conestoga, Pennington (N.J.) and Archbishop Curley (Md.), all whom are nationally-ranked teams.”
(Note: As of Aug. 23, the coaches for Archbishop Carroll and Friends’ Central had not submitted preview information.)