After struggling through a 4-12 season in 2011, the Hun School boys’ soccer team will be featuring a new look this fall.
“We have revamped our entire system,” said fifth-year Hun head coach Pat Quirk. “We will be playing a 4-2-3-1 formation. A lot of European teams are playing it. I bought some books and studied them over the summer. I thought it would play more to our strengths; the guys are liking it.”
Quirk also likes the new attitude he is seeing from his returning players. “The core of kids is very dedicated,” asserted Quirk, noting that his team showed character down the stretch last fall as it won four of its last six games after a 0-10 start.
“They want to return to what we were before. I think they all learned lessons from last year and they worked hard through the summer.”
Quirk is expecting some good work from junior Andres Gonzales who will play the lone striker position in the team’s new formation. “Andres is a bit of a target,” said Quirk, whose team kicks off the 2012 season by playing at the Haverford School (Pa.) on September 15.
The trio of attacking players in the new formation will include senior Robert Merfield, sophomore Foster Broad, and senior Alex Griese, with junior Felix Dalstein and senior Nick Revano filling the two holding midfield spots.
“Griese is very slick with the ball,” added Quirk. “Felix is a good offensive distributor while Nick is more defensive; he breaks up plays. They all know their roles.”
The Hun backline will feature a pair of seniors, Peter Stoddard and Zach Winterstein, together with junior Bailey Hammer.
“As much as Stoddard and Hammer want to go forward, they know they have to stay back and protect,” said Quirk.
Quirk is expecting junior goalie Chris Minert to do a good job of protecting the net for the Raiders.
“Chris has gotten a lot better; he worked hard in the offseason with a trainer,” said Quirk.
As Quirk looks forward to the season, he is confident his players will do a better job this fall of playing as a unit.
“The players have a good attitude, they are willing to try anything,” said Quirk.
“None of them are selfish. We need to continue to share the ball and not wait and watch. There needs to be less dribbling and more controlling the midfield and making two-touch passes.”