Preview: Westerly boys soccer

Preview: Westerly boys soccer



Head coach:

Brian Williams (3rd season).

Assistant coaches:

Jonathan Sicliano, Frank Williams, Michael Didone (volunteer), Cameron Quinn (volunteer).

Last year:

The Bulldogs finished 4-10-3 overall, 4-8-3 in Division II.

Returning to varsity:

Seniors:

Spencer Bernat (G, captain), Sam Luzzi (F, captain).

Juniors:

Blake Busch (MF), Sean Rafferty (MF).

New to varsity:

Juniors:

Davide Allen (D), Aiden Faubert (F), Aaron Healy (MF), Mike Imbriglio (D), Nathaniel Ober (D), Philip Pedersen (D), Nico Serluca (F).

Sophomores:

Max Bertsch (MF), Luke Gencarella (F), Adam Gilman (D), Cameron Jakob (MF), Ben Luzzi (D).

Outlook:

With just two seniors on the roster, this is the youngest group Williams has been involved with in his nine-year association with the program. So the Bulldogs will have to grow up fast.

“A lot of people have got to step up to the plate and show that they can handle the faster play [at the varsity level],” Williams said. “Every day for them is a challenge.”

In the offseason, the sophomores and juniors often played together on the same travel teams to get a “head start” on the high school season, Williams said. “We’re hoping that they’re ahead of the game so we’re not starting from ground zero.”

The experienced Bernat and Luzzi will be counted on for leadership.

Bernat returns in goal, and Luzzi, a talented forward, is back after missing last season battling leukemia. The popular Luzzi, who still undergoes weekly chemotherapy treatments, is an inspiration to his teammates.

“He’s extremely influential,” Williams said.

Perhaps the Bulldogs’ biggest strengths will be their spirit and positive attitude.

“Their willingness to learn and push themselves knowing this season’s going to be a big challenge [will be crucial],” he said. “They have a good time every day. Their teamwork is good, the morale is up and they know they’re getting better every day. The whole season is what they make of it.”

Coach’s take:

“This team is willing to work and they all get along. We were one win away from the playoffs last year. … It’s there if they push for it. It’s their focus and their drive that will get them over the line.”

— Ken Sorensen


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