Emphasizing Competitive Fire on a Daily Basis, Talented Hun Boys’ Soccer Primed for Strong Season
By Bill Alden
With the Hun School boys’ soccer team boasting skill all over the field, its daily practice sessions have turned into a pitched battles.
“From top to bottom, it is one of the most talented teams that I have had,” said Hun head coach Pat Quirk, whose team went 1-5 last fall in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns and will start its 2021 campaign by playing at the Germantown Academy (Pa.) on September 10.
“It is going to be tough, that is the culture that the kids want it to be. It needs to be competitive every day in practice, maybe even more competitive than when we get into games. If a kid is off one practice, we have kids who can fill the role.”
A quartet of forwards, junior Mass Verduci, sophomore Joey Bucchere, junior Will Zeng, and senior Hector Suriel, should provide the firepower to keep Hun competitive.
“Those are our main guys up top, we will mix and match them,” said Quirk.
“We scored 11 goals in a scrimmage against Nottingham and we scored three goals against Hopewell in a scrimmage. I think we are going to see some goals. Those guys are going to be finishing but they are going to be set up by the midfield.”
That midfield will be spearheaded by junior Tyler Stark, senior Ozzie Bayazitoglu, junior Adhityan Tamilselvan, and sophomore Michael D’Aulerio.
“They are really good with the ball at their feet, they are really good at distributing,” said Quirk.
“They are awesome at breaking lines and putting guys in; they just understand the game so well.”
On defense, a battle-tested group of senior John Balian, senior A.J. Torres, senior Aden Spektor, and sophomore Conor Frykholm will be holding the fort.
“John and A.J are definitely going to be leaders there as the outside backs,” said Quirk.
“Aden started playing center back for us last year. Conor played center mid for us last year and we slid him back; he is a center back now. The four of them are a very strong, sturdy unit.”
Quirk is looking for a strong season from senior goalie Ayden Isbirian.
“Ayden is back; he put in a lot of work this summer and has been working with our goalie coach [Nick Savino],” said Quirk, whose backup keeper will be freshman Diego Pena.
“It is his spot right now, he is doing well. He is working on his positioning and his vocal leadership in the back has been good. He has gotten stronger. The freshman goalie, Diego, is going to be good. He is going to push Ayden to play his best every day. That is a theme we have got with our team.”
In Quirk’s view, those daily battles should steel the Raiders for the challenges ahead.
“We need to be competing in practice every day and not staying complacent,” said Quirk.
“That has hurt us in the past, being happy with where we are rather than trying to get better each day. I think we saw the work ethic in the summer with guys getting together and going through preseason. They know that each day that we start is a new day, the previous day was the easiest day. We just have to keep going, we are looking strong.”