Cougar boys' soccer preview
DIXFIELD -- The Dirigo boys' soccer team made the most of its opportunities last fall and the objective will be to see how much momentum will carry over to the 2012 season.
The Cougars produced plenty of highlights through the regular season, won seven of their final eight games to finish with an 11-3 record, losing to eventual playoff teams, Dirigo gave Hall Dale all it could handle, before losing 2-1 in quarterfinal game.
Returning seniors include forwards: Chad Snowman, Hunter Ross and Loren Keim; midfielders Travis Frost and Trevor Newman and goal keeper Michael Chow.
"Losing five quality young men and great players to graduation is going to be tough to replace,” said coach Jack Rioux, including Josh Turbide and Cody St. Germain (MF), goalie Caleb Turner and backs Jeremy Briggs and Garrett Carver.
“However, we have a solid group coming back including (three) top goal scorers from the past two seasons." The offense scored 35 goals, led by Snowman 12 goals, six assists, Frost (seven, five), Ross (six, four). Ross had scored 19 goals, two years ago. Snowman and Ross each have explosive speed and are dangers to breakaway. Keim, Trevor Statham (Jr.) and Yossapat Chanarune (So.) will add depth.
Jrs. Aighdan Weishar and Sawyer Smith and Frost must utilize their speed to track down loose balls and feed the wings. The defense will be counted on, heavily, so the transition to offense will be important. Chow is the new goalie and learned from Turner (four-year starter) who had eight shutouts and allowed nine goals in 2011. Junior Brian Volkernick has started two years and must provide leadership, beside Jason Baldinelli.
Newcomers are Cody Dolloff (So. MF), Ethan Cantin (Jr. MF), Sam Rock (Jr. Bk), Colten Woods Fr. MF), Tim White (Fr. F) and Randy Deroche (Fr. B/GK)
"We also have all conference player TJ Frost returning in the mid-field. Our offense should be able to produce some goals but we need to find out who is going to step up and anchor our defense in the MVC,” said Rioux. "This year in the MVC we hope to be competitive and fight for a playoff spot just like we have for the last two seasons."