HARVARD — This is a rare fall when the Bromfield boys soccer team is coming off a season that didn’t include a Central Mass. Division 3 championship, and the Trojans will look to return to normality despite graduation losses that cost them the services of Cody Osgood, Ben Landry, Brian Mandozzi, Zach Clements and Josh Wright.
“I think one of our strengths this season is that we have a variety of goal scorers,” said legendary coach Tom Hill, now in his 33rd season at the helm of the Trojans. “We have a lot of players with skills and dedication, the kids understand the game well, we are solid in key positions, and I think our defense is strong.
“My concern heading into the season is depth,” said Hill. “We are trying to develop a bench with some length, but we must stay healthy.”
Senior captain Will Nocka returns in goal and he will provide a stabilizing influence as the backbone of the defense.
“Will is fundamentally sound and doesn’t make mistakes,” said Hill. “His skills and confidence just keep on improving.”
The four defensive starters in front of Nocka include senior sweeper Isaac Cohen, a captain, senior fullback Hunter Granville, junior fullback Hunter Siegrist, and junior stopper Brian McCullough.
“Isaac has size, skills and the versatility to play other positions,” said Hill. “He is experienced and sees the field well. He provides great leadership and is well respected by his teammates. Hunter Granville is athletic, fast and physical and is learning the position. We will continue to get better. Hunter Siegrist is up from the junior varsity team and has good speed and quickness. He has good skills, he understands the game and worked hard in the off-season. Brian played fullback last season and he is adapting to the middle of the field. He is athletic and quick, he anticipates well and he gives 100 percent effort and covers a lot of ground.”
Junior Mitch Williams has impressed and is making a concerted effort for a starting job.
“Mitch came up to the varsity near the end of last season and he is athletic, confident and aggressive,” said Hill. “He has made an impression and he is going to be an excellent fullback.”
Senior Sean Thurston is pushing for time at fullback, and juniors Austin Parker and Brent Stodard added depth in the defensive end.
Junior Clayton Galeski is a good athlete with size and will be the back-up goaltender.
The starting inside midfielders will be seniors Derek Silver and captain Andy Tabrizi.
“Derek is strong with both feet, passes well and is making an effort to distribute the ball,” said Hill. “He is experienced, quick, has a strong shot and plays good defense. Andy is skilled, confident and distributes the ball well. He came off the bench last season and he is an important player for us.”
The starting outside midfielders will be juniors Jack Landry and Sam Elkind.
“Jack got significant playing time last season and he is quick, smart and has a strong leg,” said Hill. “Sam battled injuries last season and he is a skilled player who keeps improving. He has good touch and has shown flashes of being able to finish.”
Junior Jason Mandozzi is pushing for a starting berth.
“Jason will get plenty of playing time,” said Hill. “He has a long throw-in that creates scoring chances. He has a strong foot and sees the field well.”
Other midfielders include junior Peter Nocka, who figures to come off the bench, and sophomore Matt Griffin and freshman Paul Malloy, who are working to secure varsity berths.
“Peter has good skills and potential,” said Hill. “Matt is aggressive, skilled and has good size. Paul has skills and size and has shown some finishing ability.”
The two starting forwards will be sophomore Dylan Osgood and junior D’Vonne Williams.
“Dylan is a returning starter who is quick and active,” said Hill. “He is athletic and skilled and has experience at this level. D’Vonne is fast and skilled and he can be a finisher. He is versatile and could also play halfback. He is much-improved since the beginning of last year and he has stepped it up.”
Providing depth up front will be sophomore Lucas Hickok and junior Andrew Miller.
“Lucas has good skills, speed and quickness while Andrew works hard, has a great attitude and is a great teammate.”
What are the Trojans’ goals this season?
“Our goals are to win the league championship, to be competitive in every game and to make a run at the District title,” said Hill. “We were very inconsistent last year and we are looking for more consistency.
The pressure is on us to win the games we should win. Our schedule is challenging. There are less sure wins on the schedule but more winnable games.”