Soccer squads get ready

Catapulted by scoring phenom and back-to-back Cape Ann League Most Valuable Player Mike Kennedy, Lynnfield boys soccer peaked at opportune times and advanced to consecutive Division 3 state finals.To the Pioneers’ dismay, both tourney runs ended in defeat. However, what may be even more disheartening is that Kennedy could not remain for a fifth year and instead will be playing his soccer this fall for the Northeastern Huskies. Replacing the scoring prowess of the league MVP will be Lynnfield’s most daunting task in 2008.”He was our offense. He was unbelievable, as good as anybody in the state,” said Pioneer coach Brent Munroe. “We lost seven seniors, five of them starters who played on both state final teams. That doesn’t sound like a huge number, but they carried our team.”Lynnfield finished third in the CAL Small in ’07, which Munroe admitted does not sound as good aloud as it does in reality because of the overall strength of the league, and has five seniors and eight players who were or will be starters returning.The team is captained by seniors Alex MacEachern (fullback), a CAL all-star, Sean Morrisey (sweeper) and Matt Dillon (halfback). Senior Andrew Miller will return in goal and Dan Kearney, also a senior, will start in the backfield. Juniors Matt Derosa (halfback) and Brendan Colby (halfback) are incumbent starters, and sophomore Steve Knox is the lone returning starting attacker, thus leaving a void in the offensive game plan.”We definitely have a good group of young kids who are going to be good players; I’m just not sure if it’s going to be this year or not. Our success is based on their development,” Munroe said.The Cape Ann will have its usual juggernauts in Masconomet and Wilmington, and the Small contains strong teams such as Ipswich and Georgetown, but Munroe believes the Small to be wide open in the sense it is full of good teams, any of which could take the league.What was once a young defense matured and improved throughout last season and gained invaluable experience in six tournament games. At one time buoyed by a stellar offense, the defense is now looked upon as the strength of a team searching for an offensive identity.”If the offense can catch up to where our defense is, we’ll be pretty good,” Munroe said.How quickly that identity is revealed will be the story of Lynnfield’s 2008 campaign.SAUGUSSaugus coach Chris Coviello had reason to be encouraged last year, with his team putting five wins on the board. Although he lost eight players from that team, including six seniors, he has a solid group of starters back in the fold.”Last year was kind of a building year,” Coviello said. “We kind of laid the foundation.”This year, we’re hoping to build on it. We lost a lot of seniors, but we do have some ninth and 10th graders who should step up.”Matt and Jason Guarente are back at defense and midfield, respectively. They’ll share the captains’ duties. Keeper Joe Meuse is also back after a solid junior year between the posts. Coviello is hoping to get some offensive production from junior Carmen Bordenaro, who was one of his leading scorers last year, and sophomore Derek Coderre. K.J. Mills and Alex Ung, both juniors, will shore up the midfield, while Taylor Geotis, Anthony Cacuza and Alex Singer solidify the defense. Coviello is also looking for help from junior midfielder Allen Gray and sophomore sweeper R. J. Glassett.MARBLEHEADThe Magicians finished third in the Northeastern Conference South last year behind Gloucester and Danvers, but coach Steve Ingemi is optimistic this year’s team can improve on that mark despite losing striker and leading scorer Alex Terrill and defender Andrew Solomon to graduation.The returning contingent includes senior captains Pat Song, who can play just about anywhere, including sweeper, stopper and center midfielder; sweeper/defender Jacob Evanter; midfielder Nick Belesis; and keeper Kurt Grossman.Coviello has several juniors who have been on varsity since they were freshmen ?

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