Rams soccer team taking next step in growth

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., Sep. 14, 2012
Defender Seamus Foley sends a ball downfield to his teammates in the Rams' opening game on Sept. 11. Photos by Steve Smith.
Defender Seamus Foley sends a ball downfield to his teammates in the Rams' opening game on Sept. 11. Photos by Steve Smith.

Despite a loss in the season opener, Rockville High School boys' varsity soccer coach Jamie Bunker said his team looks much improved over the squad that did not notch a win last season. The team played 75 minutes of stalemate ball versus New Britain in the game on Sept. 11, before a ball that bounced off of several heads found the net with 4:46 to go in the game. Rockville defenders blocked several shots in the game, and goalie Dan Hansen had 10 saves, showing that defense is a strength for the Rams.

“We've come a long way from last year,” Bunker said. “Our defense is healthier, and that's big. We're still young on offense, though.”
Three returning starting seniors – Connor McCullogh (defender and captain), midfielder Matt Beaulieu and striker/midfielder Danny Moncada – and two walk-on seniors replace the four lost to graduation.

Bunker said his team's early showing was the next step in their transitional growth. “We did today what we need to do,” he said after the game. “I figure if we keep an average of under two goals given up by our defense, then we can get the chances to score.”

Bunker said his team needs to work on its offensive line, getting the forwards and middies in place during attacks, and communicating better. “It's always about getting guys to talk,” he said. “We're telling our guys to send the ball to where other players are supposed to be, but we're either too quick to send something to someone that isn't there, or we're holding it too long. We need to play better positionally and to be quicker with our decision-making.”

Still, the coach said this year the team should see some improvement in its battles versus opponents. “I think this year, we'll at least be competitive,” Bunker said. “We just have to anticipate a little bit better – one pass ahead of what we've been doing.”

The Rams visit Tolland on Sept. 21 and RHAM on Sept. 25.

For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.

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