2015 Boys Soccer Capsule Previews


League: Independent

Head coach: William Naftaly, second season

2014 record: 1-14-1 (1-14-1 Sunset, ninth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (six)

Top athletes: MF Nevo Ziv (Jr.), F/MF Maxime Chaltiel (Jr.), MF/F Dylan Soresman (So.), D/MF Sam Shain (So.), D/MF Tomer Blit (So.), D/MF Ben Elharrar (So.)

Outlook: The Lions have just three seniors on a roster that is comprised of both boys and girls.

After struggling to compete against schools more than 10 times larger in enrollment, the Lions were granted independent status for this year. They’ll use it to help build a more competitive schedule and more success on the field.



League: Division I Northwest

Head coach: Robert Starbird, fourth season

2014 record: 6-14-2 (3-3-2 Northwest, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (six)

Top athletes: MF Dalton Rice (Sr.), D Dustin Moore (Sr.), F Alfredo Carrera (Sr.)

Outlook: The Aggies return 10 lettermen from a squad that finished third in the Northwest League last season.

“After making the playoffs the previous two seasons and getting a win in the first round last season, we hope to make it back again and try to take it further,” Starbird said. “With a handful of freshmen making the varsity squad, we have a good mix of older and younger players.

“We expect the older players to take the younger ones under their wing to help have a successful season.”



League: Division I Southeast

Head coach: Michael Tribett, first season

2014 record: 0-16 (0-10 Southeast, sixth)

Outlook: Tribett takes over a team that is hungry for success.

The Wolves have struggled to be competitive in recent years and are winless in their past 47 matches (0-45-2).

Basic is hoping to turn that around this season and begin to build.



League: Division I Southwest

Head coach: Tommy Tate, first season

2014 record: 8-3-3 (4-2-2 Southwest, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (eight)

Top athletes: MF Cobi DeLeon (Jr.), F Jake Bickford (Sr.), MF Justin Rasmussen (Jr.), D Slade Weber (Sr.)

Outlook: Tate takes over a squad that finished second in the Southwest League and is hoping to return to the state tournament.

DeLeon (8 goals, 5 assists) and Bickford (8 goals, 1 assist) were the team’s top scorers last year and will lead what Tate expects to be a high-powered offense.

“A veteran defense including Slade Weber and Javier Arellano should help the one question on the team, goalkeeper,” Tate said. “Both of the Gaels’ senior goalies have graduated, leaving the job up to two unproven netminders.”



League: Division I Northeast

Head coach: Dan Myers, sixth season

2014 record: 13-6-2 (5-2-1 Northeast, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)

Top athletes: MF Juan Covarrubias (Jr.), D Brian Arias-Cortez (Sr.), D/MF Saul Garcia (Sr.)

Outlook: Graduation hit the Pioneers hard with 12 players who combined for 60 goals having moved on.

“The core of the defense is still present, but new faces will need to pick up the goal scoring,” Myers said. “Covarrubias and Garcia should provide strength and leadership in the middle, and Cortez anchors a solid back line.

“We will be competitive and drive for a playoff spot. The team wants to progress past the first round this year.”



League: Division I-A Sunrise

Head coach: Eric Rolwing, fourth season

2014 record: 20-7-2 (11-2-1 Sunrise, second)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (five)

Top athletes: Jose Morales (Sr.), Aldo Skewes (Sr.)

Outlook: Morales had 28 goals, and Skewes added 13 assists last season for the Cowboys, who lost in the Division I-A state title match in a penalty-kick shootout to Truckee (Calif).

“It would be a lie to say that we aren’t still devastated by the way last season ended, but it also added fuel to the fire for the upcoming season,” Rolwing said. “We expect to be competing for the I-A state title again this year.”



League: Division I Northwest

Head coach: Mark Bailey, seventh season

2014 record: 16-5-2 (7-0-1 Northwest, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (eight)

Top athletes: F Ernan Hernandez (Sr.), D Luis Gallardo (Jr.), D/MF Omar Garcia (Sr.), GK Richard Crews (Sr.), MF Miguel Rubio (So.), MF Dresden Quackenbush (Jr.)

Outlook: The Spartans return eight starters from a team that advanced to the Division I state tournament last year.

Hernandez (10 goals, 5 assists) is the top returning scorer, but the Spartans will have to make up for the graduation loss of leading scorer Garrick Quackenbush (21 goals). Crews is back after posting six shutouts last year.

“Our goal is to continue our successes of the past few years and grow as a team on and off the field,” Bailey said. “We can’t wait to get the season started.”



League: Division I-A Sunrise

Head coach: John Britt, 12th season

2014 record: 5-11 (4-10 Sunrise, sixth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (seven)

Top athletes: Alex Lopez-Hernandez (Sr.), Diego Nieves (Jr.)

Outlook: The Dragons had more sophomores than juniors and seniors combined last year, and the youthfulness showed at times.

They’re striving to improve this year.

“Hopefully last year’s experience and growing pains make us more competitive this year,” Britt said.



League: Division I Southwest

Head coach: Richard Cuellar, third season

2014 record: 5-14-1 (1-7 Southwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (four)

Top athletes: MF Giovanni Rodriguez (Sr.), MF Oscar Rodriguez (Jr.), GK Paolo Sarnataro (Jr.)

Outlook: Giovanni Rodriguez shared the team lead in goals last year with six and is one of seven returning lettermen for the Trailblazers, who hope to show improvement this season.

“With a new group of guys coming into the program, we’re getting them ready for the varsity level and the ability to play as a team,” Cuellar said. “We’re teaching them personal growth.

“We are striving to participate in the playoffs and advancing further on.”



League: Division I-A Sunset

Head coach: Aaron Griffith, first season

2014 record: 6-13-6 (4-10-2 Sunset, sixth)

Top athletes: MF Logan Buckley (Sr.), F Harut Khachoyan (Sr.), MF Conner Frame (Sr.), D Jack Mathes (Sr.), F Phil Starcher (Jr.), D Brock Hagee (Jr.), D Kyle McKlein (Jr.), GK Tyler Martin (So.)

Outlook: The Crusaders are hoping to show improvement this season after finishing in a tie for sixth in the Sunset League last year.

Khachoyan (7 goals, 6 assists) and Buckley (5 goals, 7 assists) were the team’s top two scorers last year.

“This is a team and program in transition,” Griffith said. “There is some incredible talent, but lacked chemistry in the past. The new focus, determination, leadership and chemistry that has developed already will take this team to new heights.

“This is Faith Lutheran’s last season in Division I-A before moving the entire athletic program to Division I, so there are some old scores to settle before we move up, and the boys are relishing the challenge.”



League: Division I Southeast

Head coach: Andrew Risheg, ninth season

2014 record: 19-5 (9-1 Southeast, first)

Returning lettermen (starters): Five (five)

Top athletes: F Michael Carnahan (Sr.), MF Parker Erickson (Sr.), MF Trent Milne (So.), D Kapono Maruyama (So.)

Outlook: The Falcons are coming off a strong season in which they advanced to the Sunrise Region final, but the loss of the team’s top five scorers and goalkeeper Derek Lawson, who posted five shutouts, will not be easy to overcome.

Carnahan (4 goals, 1 assist) is the team’s leading returning scorer.

“We graduated 15 seniors last season and are in the long process of rebuilding,” Risheg said.



League: Division I Southeast

Head coach: Jacob Rivera, fifth season

2014 record: 14-10-1 (6-4 Southeast, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Thirteen (eight)

Top athletes: Maliq Cooper (Sr.), Ricardo Nunez (Sr.), Connor Malone (Sr.), Antonio Trama (Sr.), German Martinez (Sr.)

Outlook: Cooper led the team in assists last year with 19 and was second in goals with 11. Malone (9 goals, 6 assists) was third on the squad in scoring, Nunez (7 goals, 7 assists) was fourth, and Trama (6 goals, 8 assists) was fifth.

They’re among 13 lettermen returning for the Gators.

“Green Valley looks to improve on its third-place finish in the league by returning eight starters,” Rivera said. “There will be depth and speed on the bench this year, and we will continue to prepare to compete at the highest levels.

“We have a lot of senior leadership that understands what it’s going to take to compete for another region and state title.”



League: Division I Southwest

Head coach: Jorge Cobian, third season

2014 record: 8-6-6 (3-3-2 Southwest, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (nine)

Top athletes: MF Kevin Calderon (Sr.), GK Juan Orpineda (Sr.), D Horacio Osorio (Sr.), MF Cesar Cisneros (Sr.), MF Mario Adams (Sr.), D Kevin Guardado (Sr.), D/MF Matthew Beasley (Jr.), D/MF Justin McCabe (Jr.), F Daniel Quinones (So.)

Outlook: The Longhorns return nine starters from a team that qualified for the postseason last year.

Orpineda posted four shutouts last year and is back to anchor the defense.

“This year, our team is a combination of our strong junior varsity and varsity players from last year,” Cobian said. “Our goal, like every year, is to go to state.”



League: Division I Northeast

Head coach: Wilfredo Rivera, second season

2014 record: 7-10-3 (2-5-1 Northeast, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eleven (seven)

Top athletes: F Joe Hollimon (Sr.), D Osias Dixon (Sr.), D Parker Randall (Sr.), MF Eduardo Soriano (Jr.), GK Justin Lutes (Sr.)

Outlook: Hollimon, the team’s go-to player on offense last year, is back after scoring 24 goals and adding seven assists on his way to All-Sunrise Region honors.

He leads a list of 11 returning lettermen, which also includes All-Northeast selections Dixon, Randall and Soriano.

Lutes had three shutouts last season and should help the defense for the Patriots, who are hoping to improve in the Northeast League standings.



League: Division I-A Sunset

Head coach: Rachal Huntsinger, eighth season

2014 record: 10-5-3 (10-4-2 Sunset, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (five)

Top athletes: MF Antonio Perez (Sr.), MF Eduardo Luna (Sr.)

Outlook: Perez (12 goals, 17 assists) and Luna (9 goals, 9 assists) lead a list of eight returnees for the Rattlers, who are hoping to get back to the postseason this year.



League: Division I-A Sunset

Head coach: Ryan Quinn, 12th season

2014 record: 6-12-3 (6-8-2 Sunset, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (six)

Top athletes: MF Calvin Aguirre (Jr.), MF Zekarias Kassaye (Jr.), MF/F Daniel Perez (So.), MF Tanner Erwin (So.), F Konnor King (Sr.)

Outlook: The Mountain Lions return 10 lettermen but feature only five seniors on the roster.

Kassaye (7 goals, 3 assists) is the leading returning scorer on a squad that should be more consistent offensively this year.

“We are a young team again this year, but with much more experience,” Quinn said. “We are going to be deeper at every position and have added some players in key positions that will help us this year.

“We are looking to finish in the top four of our league and get back into the playoffs.”



League: Division I-A Sunset

Head coach: James Tippett, fourth season

2014 record: 10-7-1 (10-5-1 Sunset, fourth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Seven (six)

Top athletes: D David Van Hoose (Jr.), MF Jose Lopez (Jr.), GK Ethan Harper (So.)

Outlook: The Grizzlies bring back six starters from a team that advanced to the Southern Region playoffs, but must make up for the loss of players who combined for 53 goals last year.

Lopez (3 goals, 5 assists) is the team’s leading returning scorer.

“Spring Valley looks to rebuild its attack and continue to solidify its defense,” Tippett said. “With only four seniors on the current roster, the Grizzlies look to take a young team to the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since 2007.”



League: Division I-A Sunrise

Head coach: Brett Underwood, seventh season

2014 record: 17-2 (13-1 Sunrise, first)

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Jose Arreola (Jr.), Luiz Olandez (Sr.)

Outlook: The Miners have made consecutive trips to the state semifinals, but have a lot of work to do this season after graduating 18 seniors.

Arreola (16 goals, 6 assists) and Olandez (6 goals, 2 assists) give Sunrise Mountain a foundation around which to build.

“This is a huge rebuilding year for the Miners,” Underwood said. “The program has some very large challenges ahead of itself this year. With the right focus, we plan on being competitive and attempt to make a deep run into the playoffs again this year.”



League: Division I-A Sunrise

Head coach: Josh Jones, 17th season

2014 record: 15-7-2 (10-3-1 Sunrise, third)

Returning lettermen (starters): Ten (seven)

Top athletes: F Francisco Garcia (Sr.), D Eduardo Sanchez (Sr.), GK Tyler Harvey (Sr.), MF Joel Velazquez (Jr.)

Outlook: Garcia (25 goals, 15 assists) and Sanchez (12 goals, 20 assists) were the top two scorers last year for the Roadrunners, who won the 2012 and 2013 state titles.

Harvey recorded nine shutouts and is one of seven returning starters.

“Tech returns the core of its middle and hopes that some younger players will step up in other key positions,” Jones said. “If the pieces come together, they should be able to make another strong playoff run.”



League: Division I-A Sunrise

Head coach: Michael Pletzke, third season

2014 record: 10-8-2 (7-7 Sunrise, fifth)

Returning lettermen (starters): Eight (five)

Outlook: The Bulldogs bring back eight lettermen from a team that finished only three points out of the Sunrise League’s final playoff spot.

“We are looking to be competitive once again this year, but as always, it will depend on how much work and effort the players choose to put forth,” Pletzke said. “As a small school, we have what we are given and the players can create their own future.”

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