Boys soccer preview / Prep, Ludlowe, Warde hope for happier finishes
The second round of the Class LL tournament was a dark moment for the Fairfield Prep, Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde boys' soccer teams.
All three lost -- Prep 4-0 to Greenwich, Warde 3-2 to Glastonbury and Ludlowe 1-0 to Danbury. The losses marked disappointing ends to winning seasons.
Prep finished 9-7-3 last season playing in the Southern Connecticut Conference.
"We play in a very difficult division and conference," Jesuits coach Ryan Lyddy wrote in a fall prospectus. "We were a young team last year, so hopefully these guys gained some experience."
Lyddy lost eight letterman but just two starter's from last fall team's and will have senior midfielders Mike Infante and Chris Montani, along with senior defender Simon Whiteman as tri-captains this season.
Another player that Lyddy is excited about is junior forward Jack Oricoli.
"We have to try and replace the production of two four-year starters," said Lyddy. "Our captains and our seniors have been in the program for quite some time and know what it takes to succeed with a tough schedule like the one we have."
Not only is Prep facing an always tough SCC campaign but the Jesuits are also playing Boston (Mass.) College High and St. Anthony's (N.Y.).
"Our keys are going to be being able to distribute the ball well and disrupt our opponents' development of an attack," Lyddy wrote. "We need to be prepared every minute."
Ludlowe finished with a sparkling 12-3-1 record last fall, taking second place in the FCIAC Central standings and making the second round of the CIAC tournament.
All-FCIAC player senior forward Matt Doyle returns for the Falcons, as does senior back Lorin Tobey, an all-FCIAC West pick last fall. Junior Tulio Almeida, another all-FCIAC West selection, will handle the midfield and other players returning for coach Kevin O'Hara are senior back Alec Georgiadis (a two-year starter) and junior goaltender Fred Meagher.
Warde finished second in the FCIAC East last fall with an 8-7-4 record but could have trouble matching that record this fall after losing nine starters and 12 lettermen. The Mustangs do return co-captains senior midfielder Brendan King and Ted Carbin, along with sophomore midfielder Jonathan Schuster and junior goalkeeper Michael Lerman.
"Experience might be our weakness buy we have chemistry, fitness and depth," wrote Ottavio in his prospectus. "Our learning curve ... varsity experience is limited but we have a high soccer IQ and we're looking for growth over time."
Hoping to increase to last fall's five-win total will be Notre Dame, who loses just two starters from that 5-10-1 team.
"The team is very young," said coach Whitey Budreckas in his prospectus. Budreckas will be starting his 14th season at Notre Dame. "We lack experience. Only two seniors will be part of the starting 11."
Senior goaltender Kevin Franco, forward Kenny Fan and defender Marquis Simpson are among the top returning players for Budreckas this fall, along with sophomore midfielders Connor Jorge and Max Cano and defenders Colin Burke and Pedro Oliveira. Franco, Cano, Jorge and Burke will be team captains.
"The Notre Dame soccer program is going through a period of regaining its confidence," Budreckas wrote. "Every game this season will be seen as a `final' game by the players and coaches. We enter the field with one thing in mind, overcome our limitations day after day and always do better than yesterday."