Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 46
 
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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FINAL HEADING: Hun School boys’ soccer player Chris Leach heads the ball in a game this fall. Last Wednesday, senior defender Leach and his classmates ended their careers on a high note as Hun topped Hill 5-2 in the season finale. In ending the season with an overall record of 10-4-3, Hun earned its second straight Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title as it went 4-1 in league play.

Hun Boys’ Soccer Erupts in Season Finale; Tops Hill 5-2 to Repeat as MAPL Champs

Bill Alden

For the Hun School boys’ soccer team, putting off its season finale helped it put together its best effort of the fall.

Hun was originally scheduled to play the Hill School on November 5 to end the 2010 campaign but stormy weather and the lack of an available turf field led the schools to reschedule the game for last Wednesday.

“It gave our guys some time to rest and think,” said Hun head coach Pat Quirk, reflecting on the five-day delay.

The Raiders also had extra time to work on a nagging weakness, their penchant for not finishing around the net in the big games.

“At our last practice, we had a shooting drill with the seniors versus the underclassmen and the seniors killed them,” recalled Quirk. “They were putting everything on the frame.”

On Wednesday, the Hun seniors lead the way as the Raiders erupted for a 5-2 win over Hill.

Senior midfielder Connor Stevenson went out with a bang, tallying two goals and an assist with post graduate Federico Urdaneta chipping in two goals and senior Connor Marino notching the other. Senior defender Chris Leach contributed two assists with classmate Julian Plummer and post-grad Luis Romero-Arcia also getting credited with helpers.

In ending the season with an overall record of 10-4-3, Hun earned its second straight Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title as it went 4-1 in league play.

“It was good to play in nice weather,” said Quirk, noting that Hun is just the second program to win back-to-back MAPL boys’ soccer titles with Lawrenceville having accomplished the feat in 2001-02. “It is the most goals we have scored since I have been head coach.”

Quirk was proud to see program stalwart Stevenson end his career on such a high note.

“Connor had one with his head and one with his foot,” said Quirk. “He has always been around the goal and dangerous and this time he put them in. He’s an enforcer for us in the middle of the field.”

The work of Marino and Leach also heartened Quirk. “Connor came in this year with an ability to win head balls and get in the air,” added Quirk. “Leach has played well out of the back all year; he and Brian Patriarca have had our most runs up the field.”

Having lost to WW/P-N in the first round of the country tournament before getting nipped by Pennington in the state Prep A semifinals, Hun’s seniors were itching to end their careers with a title.

In addition to Stevenson, Leach, Plummer, Patriarca, Marino, Urdaneta, and Romero Arcia, Hun’s Class of 2011 includes Jeff Kaminski, Mark Nicholas, Ryan Bruvik, Ryan Stokes, and Daniel Gonzales.

“After we lost to Pennington, the first thing we talked about was that we still had a chance to win a championship,” said Quirk, whose seniors helped Hun go 30-19-8 over the last four years.

“It is a great way for the seniors to go out; their impact has been huge. They have been with me since my first year; they were sophomores when I came in as head coach and I have seen them come up together.”

In Quirk’s view, the program can keep on the upswing even with the void that will be left by graduation.

“We will have big losses on defense and with Stevenson and Marino but we have some good guys returning on the outside and at forward,” said Quirk. “I have seen some good things from them in practice. We should have a nice little team. We have shown that we are competitive.”

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