Rockville boys' soccer program hopes to take leap forward

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., Aug. 30, 2013
Rockville's Shawn Monaghan (in yellow jersey) tries to protect the ball in a scrimmage vs. Windsor Locks on Aug. 28. Photos by Steve Smith.
Rockville's Shawn Monaghan (in yellow jersey) tries to protect the ball in a scrimmage vs. Windsor Locks on Aug. 28. Photos by Steve Smith.

Rockville High School's varsity boys' soccer team will have the most collective experience that it has had in years. According to new varsity coach Nick Cody, who has been coaching JV for the past three years, the players who are seniors now are mostly four-year starters, because the team struggled with numbers three years ago.

“They are finally of the age and size where they can be most competitive,” Cody said.

The team's juniors (about half of this year's starters) are also experienced, and overall, the team is on the upswing of rebuilding.

In early practices and scrimmages, Cody said, the team is showing that it can go toe-to-toe with other squads. On Aug. 28, Rockville dropped a scrimmage to Windsor Locks, 6-4, but Cody said that is an improvement. “That was a team that blew us out last year,” he said. “Six to four is not that bad.”

Cody said the strength of the team will lie in the midfield. “We have six really strong, confident midfielders who understand the game,” the coach said, adding that the defenders are starting to gel with the middies. Defender Nico Petrella and defenders Matt Tracey (who will be soon returning from injury) and Shawn Monaghan are expected to lead the team, as well as junior goalie Brandan Jones.

Cody said an improvement over last season's winless record is almost inevitable, and he feels the team can make the state tournament. A .500 record is a more likely and more realistic goal, and if sheer will has anything to do with it, this year's Rams could see a playoff game.

“I'm shooting for the tournament, because I shoot high,” Cody said. “If we have a .500 season, we'll be real happy. These seniors haven't won a game in three years, so they want to win bad - real bad.”

As for the character of the players, there is even less doubt. “They are hard-working, dependable students,” the coach said. “They are well-behaved, hard-working and self-disciplined. After practice, they are still juggling the ball. If we don't have practice, they are calling the other guys and still playing. They are certainly a passionate group of kids.”

The Rams begin the regular season on Sept. 10, at East Hartford. For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.


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