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For two straight seasons Hollis Brookline has fallen to Windham in the Division II final, and the Cavaliers may just get one more crack at the Jaguars this fall.
Leading the way for HB is one of the state’s premier players on the pitch, Cole Owens. The senior striker scored 24 goals and assisted on nine more on his way to being the leading vote-getter for the Division II All State Team in 2013.
Friday’s season opener between last year’s finalists in Windham could be a tone-setter for the season.
That will be the Cavaliers first opportunity to show fourth-year coach Rick Carvalho they are following his game plan.
“Good finishing, good possession through the midfield,” is what Carvalho is stressing, along with perhaps the biggest key to victory, “Keeping balls out of our own net.”
COACH: Rick Carvalho (fourth year)
2013: 16-3; lost in Division II final.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cole Owens, sr.; Nathan Rogers, sr.; Evan Porter, sr.; Michael Pattelena, sr.; Alex Reynolds, sr.; Sam Langley, sr.; Joe Demaio, sr.; Cam Tulley, jr.; Jack Barbour, jr.; Sam Hall, so.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Guillem Pujadas, sr.; Hugh Devlin, sr.; Zac Crooks, jr.; Andrew Bisbee, jr.; Kyle Pittman, jr.; Scott Stone, so.; Nick Wood, so.; Jonathan Brackett, fr.; Joe Brown, fr.
KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL SEASON: As far as Cavaliers coach Rick Carvalho is concerned, there are three things his team must do to return to the Division II title game: “Good finishing, good possession through the midfield, and keeping balls out of our own net.”
Remember Division II had an upheavel last year when HB was forced to forfeit many of its wins at the end of the season due to having an ineligible player.
The Cavs had to bite the bullet on a 2-13-1 official record, but they were actually 10-5-1 on the field and have nine starters back from that squad.
COACH: Peter Clarke (4th year)
2013: 2-13-1, did not qualify for tournament
RETURNING STARTERS: Hanna Modelski, sr. fd; Celeste marsan, sr. def; Megan Olson, jr. mf; Erin Stowell, jr. mf; Courtney Ulrich, jr. mf; Taylor Cook, so. def; Magnolia Moskun, so. mf; Ryan Philbrook, so. goalie.
OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Holly Eisenberg, jr. fd; Torry Cook, so. fd; Kenzie Day, so. def.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Michele Philpot, so. mf; Maddie McCann, fr. mf.
COACH’S COMMENTS: “We return with a good core of experienced players from last year,” Clarke said, “and hop to find our pace quickly.”
In Division II, watch out for Hollis Brookline, which has a new coach, Sky Meadow PGA teaching pro James Turner, as the Cavs look to improve on last year’s 12th place finish.
Souhegan will be led by returning junior August Darula, and Milford has its best numbers in a while.
COACH: James Turner (first year)
2013: 10-10, 12th in state tournament
RETURNING REGULARS: Dan Ash, sr.; David Walsh, sr.; Alex McCalmount, sr.; Brett Beldon, jr.; Jack Shields, jr.; Josh Farmer, so.; Kris Johnson, so.; Nick White, so.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Pat MacDonald, fr.; Chris Cadman, fr.; Cory Quinn, sr.
COACH’S COMMENTS: “I feel like we have a great foundation to become a top team in our division,” Turner said. “We have many returning players with great fundamentals.”