Young Tourtellotte team opens season with win
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Tue., Sep. 18, 2012
Tourtellotte Memorial High School boys' soccer coach Craig Barrett calls his young team a group of motivated players with a lot of heart. “They care about the game. They are starting to get a much better understanding of their responsibilities and what I expect out there,” he said.
Barrett said he is seeing his players make the most progress in the fundamentals of the game, such as simple touch drills, which is where they need to improve. Seven seniors, three juniors, eight sophomores and five freshmen make up the Tiger squad.
Barrett is counting on senior Shane Alexander to anchor the defense. “As a senior leader, I'm going to rely on him to delegate in the back of the field,” Barrett said.
Junior Carlos Garcia-Labonte and Matt Valentine will rotate at the center midfielder position.
Senior forwards Jacob Roy and Nick Roy will play a vital part in the offense. “They'll get their chances and try to win some games early for us,” Barrett said.
Valentine and his brother Andrew – both sophomores – are two of the most experienced players on the team in terms of the time played, how well they understand the game, and the roles that everybody is supposed to play, according to Barrett. Andrew is the left outside midfielder, while Matt controls the center midfield. “He's just everywhere,” Barrett said. He expects the two to be program-builders going forward.
Tourtellotte won its season-opener last weekend against Putnam with a score of 2-1. The Tigers scored twice before Putnam answered, but it was the waning minutes of the game that made things interesting. With three minutes left in the game, the Clippers scored.
Putnam had several opportunities to add to the score before the time ticked down. Barrett would like to see his players improve at closing out the game. He blamed their late game performance on mental lapses. “We need to work on finishing,” he said. “That is just going to come with experience, with time spent with each other, and time working hard in practice.”