Fairfield Warde's boys soccer team had a dream season in 2010.

Following a year in which the Mustangs reached the FCIAC finals and Class L quarterfinals, Warde this year will be rebuilding. The Mustangs graduated 11 seniors, all of whom contributed to the Mustangs' most successful year.

"I remain very optimistic," Warde coach Justin Ottavio said. "In 2010, we had a brilliant and stellar year, but that success breeds success."

Defense and midfield will be a strength for the Mustangs, as Warde returns three starters, including its two captains Nicholas Imperioli and three-year starter Sal Siciliano. Fellow midfielder Ryan Gavey will also provide Warde experience in the middle line.

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Warde has used the past four years to build itself as a program. The Mustangs started with a stunning run to the FCIAC semis in 2008, and consecutive trips to the Class L second round in 2008 and 2009.

"It started in 2008, they set the stage," Ottavio said. "In 2009, they continued the trend, making states."

Ottavio realizes those teams paved the way for the successes of 2010, and how hard fought each of the 14 wins a year ago were.

"They left a great legacy," Ottavio said.

Also proving his theory about success breeding more success is the Mustangs numbers. Warde had 84 kids try out for its program, which breeds position battles, especially with so many available varsity spots in the field.

"It's a very competitive atmosphere," Ottavio said. "Competition helps build technical and tactical skills."

One problem Warde will not have is motivation. The Mustangs will want to prove that they're still an upper-echelon FCIAC club, and also that they can compete in the large school driven league.

"Everyone here is hungry," Ottavio said. "We're a LL dominant league."

But despite the departed members of the squad, the Mustangs' goals haven't changed drastically. Playing each game as if it is the most important and letting the success fall where it will.

"Mentally, I try to instill upon them that each game is the same competitor," Ottavio said. "If we don't bring our `A' game on any day, we're going to walk away unhappy."