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Boys’ soccer team clinches playoff spot

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Boys’ soccer team clinches playoff spot

Hatters on the attack at a recent home match. The team has clinched a FCIAC playoff spot.

Hatters on the attack at a recent home match. The team has clinched a FCIAC playoff spot.

Abigail Martinez

Hatters on the attack at a recent home match. The team has clinched a FCIAC playoff spot.

Abigail Martinez

Abigail Martinez

Hatters on the attack at a recent home match. The team has clinched a FCIAC playoff spot.

Jordan Rushaidat, Sports Writer

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Update: The boys’ soccer team advanced to the semi-finals in the FCIAC playoffs, but were prevented a place in the final after losing 3-2 away to Trumbull. In the Class LL Championships however, they defeated Ludlowe 3-1 in the 1st round, Hall 2-1 in the 2nd round, against Trumbull by 4 goals to 2 in the quarterfinals and another 4-2 win against Shelton in the semifinals!

 

 

With 10 wins, three draws, two losses, the Danbury Hatters boys’ soccer team is having a great regular season. Guided by new coach Anthony Howard, the team only seems that it will get better and better as each day passes.

New style of play, tactics and formations implemented by Howard, alongside the chemistry between the players themselves, proved to be some of the crucial factors that has led to the success the team has achieved.

Howard, a winning coach from New Milford who was hired late last year upon Sean Colley’s resignation, explained that “we got off to a great start and surprised a lot of people.”

The team has already clinched a spot in the FCIAC playoffs.

It’s been exciting, Howard said, to see ‘the players adapt to a new style of play successfully.”  but the lowlight was our performance against Trumbull,” a 4-1 loss, which was the first loss of the season.

Still, Howard said the team should finish among the top 3 in regular-season play. The playoffs are right around the corner, and “we hope to have a good run but you need a little luck on your side, too.”

He said the team is sound technically, but it doesn’t have much size physically.

As far as his style of play, he wants his players to have the ball.

“I like to play a possession style whilet allowing players the freedom to express themselves,” Howard said. “I always expect to be competitive and play well regardless of the result.”

A new style of play that the players reacted to well, and high expectations are what helped the team succeed. Howard also said it helps that he has players who are looked up to,

Specifically, he said, team captains, “Ricardo Rodriguez and Edwin Rosano have played almost every game, they bring experience and leadership.”

Rodriguez said although the team has played well, it has yet to reach its full potential.

“We have areas that need improvement but there is no team that we can not compete with,” he said.

Rosano, agreed, adding that “we are heading in the right direction with the help of Coach Howard, who dedicates himself to making our team fully reach the potential and talent we truly have.”

Both captains said that soccer plays a great role in their lives, making them the people that they are, and as Rosano stated, “to be an example to the younger players is a great feeling.” The captains have set the title of champions as their main and leading goal for this season.

Dedication, motivation and passion are the main factors that help the team move forward, with Rosano explaining that, “Yeah we’re your average high school sport team that all like to joke around and have fun. But, when it’s time to focus and be serious we have high intensity and focus on the work we need to get done.”

Tuesday night’s defeat, a 5-0  loss at Greenwich, Thursday’s 0-0 draw at home to Ridgefield, and another 1-1 draw away on Monday at Ludlowe stung, as the team heads into the playoffs with a three match winless streak.

That has not deterred this team. Rodriguez said, “We are extremely passionate towards the sport and that’s one of our largest strengths, the fact we come to every training session ready to work and every game ready to compete.”

The captains

Abigail Martinez
The captains

Huddling up

Abigail Martinez
Huddling up


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Boys’ soccer team clinches playoff spot