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Harvard soccer players are ready after a busy summer

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HARVARD — The Bromfield boys soccer team has played in the State Division 3 championship game the past two years, losing to Stoneham in 2004 and beating Ipswich in 2005. If play during this summer’s French River Summer League is any indication, a third trip just may be on tap.

“The French River Summer League is informal and there is no roster limit,” said Ben Myers, who coached Harvard. “We had 27 different players participate this summer, most who go to Bromfield and the rest with Harvard ties. We never had less than 12 players and the team played very well.”

Harvard earned wins over Westboro, Oakmont, Millbury, Oxford and Douglas, tied with Algonquin and Oakmont, and lost to Marlboro. But even in the 3-2 loss to potent Marlboro, minus a number of key players, Harvard equitted themselves very well.

“The kids showed up all summer and played hard,” said Myers. “They showed great teamwork and played well together. They are a very smart group and it was a treat to deal with intelligent players who listened and learned. There is a lot of versatility among this group and we moved the kids around a lot during the summer and allowed them to play different positions.”

The list of players that participated who will be seniors this season includes Toby Frost, Drew Tracey, Bryan Molinaro, Ian Rothkopf, Keeon Tabrizi, Charlie Watkins and Tim Smetana.

“Bryan always gives 100 percent effort and reads the game well,” said Myers. “Ian is an extremely talented center midfielder with a lot of skill. Keeon is another talented midfielder, while Charlie is a very sound outside defender.”

Smetana was a starter for Bromfield as a freshman, but moved away, and he has returned to add another outstanding player into the mix.

“Tim arrived late in the summer and played the last few games for us,” said Myers. “I just stuck him at sweeper, the position he will probably play in the fall. He is strong, solid and skilled.”

This year’s junior group includes Salim Al-Homsi, Mike Girard, Nick Kimball, Josh Lyvers and Brian Morgan.

“Salim is a rugged defender who plays the game hard,” said Myers. “Mike is a versatile player who is both a solid outside midfielder or defender. Nick is very hard working and has improved technically. Josh is a first-rate striker, who is athletic and can finish in a variety of ways. Brian is very versatile and may have the quickest feet on the team. He has a great burst of acceleration.”

Myers is very impressed with the group of incoming sophomores, which includes John Alexander, Pete Duckett, Connor MacKenzie, Jeff Messina, Kevin Molinaro, Scott Nussdorfer, Greg Wenger and Sam Peisch.

“John is much improved and has great all-around skills,” said Myers. “Pete has really stepped up this summer as both a midfielder or outside defender. Connor is versatile and has a good sense for the game and he has really benefited from playing this summer. Jeff is sound technically, reads the game well and has good speed. Kevin is an outstanding defender who traps the ball well. He is smart, reads the game well and helps to get transition going. Scott is very versatile and can play any position on the field. He is solid technically and adjusts to switching positions very quickly. Greg is another extremely versatile player, who combines speed and strength. Sam has matured a lot in the last year, and he’s another versatile player with good passing ability.”

Only one member of the squad will be a freshman this year, Cody Osgood.

“I hadn’t seen Cody play before this summer and he has been a pleasant surprise,” said Myers. “He is a good athlete, is fundamentally sound and he doesn’t get intimidated playing against older kids.”

Myers feels that the experience of the summer will be beneficial in the fall, again.

“These kids really worked at it and are in very good physical shape,” said Myers. “These kids have a nice future and both they and Bromfield should do well.”

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