Having Come Together Quickly in Preseason, Hun Boys’ Soccer Aims to Regain Winning Ways
PUSH BACK: Hun School boys’ soccer player Gibson Campbell, left, fights for the ball in a game last year. Sophomore defender Campbell has merged as a leader on the Hun back line. The Raiders start their 2017 season when they play at WW/P-South on September 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
It didn’t take long for the Hun School boys’ soccer team to get on the same page as it got into preseason training this August.
“We are five days in and it seems as if we have been playing together for quite some time,” said Hun head coach Pat Quirk, who guided the Raiders to a 5-13 record in 2016.
“We have a good returning core of juniors and seniors for sure and a couple of sophomores mixed in there but even the new guys that have come and joined us are fitting in really well.”
The combination of post-graduate Alex Peeters and senior Michael Campbell at forward seems to be a good fit.
“We have a PG that came to us, Alex Peeters, he is from Belgium and is a nice addition to the team,” said Quirk, whose team starts its 2017 season when it plays at WW/P-South on September 9.
“We just had our first scrimmage today and Michael was playing up top, he floats between there and the wing. He got faster somehow over the summer and he is quick with the ball on his feet. He is working with Alex well and is putting balls away on front of the net.”
The midfield will be spearheaded by senior Dylan Smith, junior Elijah Smarr and junior James Muldowney.
“We have Dylan and Elijah in the middle, I think they are both very soccer-smart,” said Quirk, noting that senior Spencer Ducharme will also be seeing action in the midfield.
“They look to possess in the ball in the midfield and both have strong ability to switch the ball. They are also looking to make dangerous runs out of the midfield as well. They like to pick and choose their time. Both of them have scored for us in the past. James is playing winger for us, he has done a nice job.”
A pair of sophomores, Gibson Campbell and Brian Spencer, along with junior Andre Balian will form the core of the Hun defense.
“We return Gibson; he was captain of the back as a freshman and just continues to get better,” said Quirk.
“Also in the back is Brian Spencer. Andre Balian has been in our program for two years and he is playing a little bit in the back now.
At goalie, Quirk is considering two options in junior Coleman Chiurco and senior Chris Pontrella.
“We have a battle; Coleman Chiurco was the one of the JV goalies the last couple of years and Chris Pontrella is a newly converted goalie,” said Quirk.
“We needed somebody to push Coleman. We knew Chris was an athlete and that he was fearless.”
In order to get back on the winning track, the Raiders will need to maintain the unity the squad has displayed in the early going along with increased attention to detail.
“We need to stick together on the field,” said Quirk. “We had some great team bonding going on during preseason with some great positivity that I think we can continue to build off of. We really focus on getting the small plays right, believing it will lead to the bigger success.”