Head coach: Joe Mendonca Sr. (23rd season). Assistant coach: Joe Mendonca Jr.
Last year: Wheeler finished 10-7-2 last season, putting together five straight wins in late October. The Lions went 1-1 in the Class S tournament.
Returning to varsity:
Senior: Lukas Jones (D, captain). Juniors: Michael Caster (D, captain), Grant Colsen (MF, captain), Andrew Patrick (MF), Emmanuel Peterle (F), Matt Pierce (F, captain), Tim Robarge (MF), Blake Stedman (D). Sophomores: Matt Carroll (D), Owen Foberg (MF), Brady Sadowski (F), Max Seeley (MF).
New to varsity:
Junior: Matthew Ryan (GK). Freshmen: Jon Anderson (F), Keiran Boscoe (MF), William Raggon (D).
Outlook: Wheeler will build from the back with Jones, a first-team All-ECC Division IV selection last season who’ll play center back.
“Lukas Jones is going to be my key player,” Mendonca said. “He does a good job in the back and he’s a leader in the back. Lukas has been playing all four years.”
Jones will be joined in the back by Carroll, Caster, Stedman and Raggon.
Ryan, a transfer from Virginia, will play goalie. Colsen, Patrick, Robarge, Seely, Foberg and Boscoe will see time in the midfield.
Anderson, Pierce and Peterle will play up front. Pierce scored 11 goals last season and is the top returning scorer. Wheeler lost four All-ECC Division IV performers off last year’s team and it may take some time for things to come together.
“Technically, we will be fine. We may be one year away of playing together to be really strong,” Mendonca said. “Next year, this will be a team to surprise people.”
Mendonca said the Lions need to improve their decision making and play with confidence.
Coach’s take: “Our goal is to play well, finish strong and finish positive. We want to stick together and work as a unit. This is a year to build confidence. When you build confidence, good things will come from that.”