Raiders boys' soccer team sporting new style of play

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Thu., Sep. 6, 2012
Nathan Pierce makes a cut with the ball during practice. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Nathan Pierce makes a cut with the ball during practice. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Windsor Locks Raiders boys’ soccer team finished the 2011 season at the bottom of the North Central Connecticut Conference with an overall record of 3-12-1. Under the guidance of new head coach Daniel Eckert, the Raiders believe they can get back in a winning routine with a newfound attitude and style of play.

“Our goal is to beat what we did our freshman year, which was quarterfinals of the state tournament,” said senior center midfielder Chris Toce. “We are not thinking about last year. We learned from our mistakes and are fixing them to be successful this season.”

“We feel that we can do that with this coach because he has a lot of potential and background,” said senior forward Chase Dargie. “He is pushing us to our limit and making us better; he knows what he is doing.”

Eckert has changed the culture at Windsor Locks early on in his tenure at the school, beginning with a new style of play. The 2011 team played an over the top kick and run style which relied on great individual play and effort, but lacked a team feel. The 2012 team will play according to the United States Soccer Federation style, which features a cohesive unit or team playing at an up-tempo pace to encourage a heavy offensive attack through maintaining possession and quick ball movement.

“We need to be intense; if you practice with intensity, you will play with intensity,” Eckert said. “You can see the level of their confidence growing. When they started seeing each other play and they started getting used to everyone playing this way, they really started meshing. They are playing more and more like a team. By the end of the season, we will totally look like a different club.”

“We’ve been working well together, which we haven’t had in a while,” Toce said. “It’s different because we aren’t a one-man team; we are 11 players on a pitch. We have become closer and we feel more comfortable out there than ever before.”

The Raiders' home opener is Sept. 18, versus East Windsor.

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