Mashpee Boys' Soccer Should Contend For Top Of South Shore
By: Rich Maclone
Over the years, Mashpee High School boys’ soccer team has become known for a certain style of play. Coach Ed Furtek takes pride in it.
“We’re going to show a lot of class and battle you tooth and nail, and that’s the reputation that we’ve built. We like being the team that people don’t want to play,” he said. Teams like last year’s Falcons club lived up to that in spades, and this year’s should as well, but there’ll be another reason that Mashpee will not be a desired opponent for almost anyone.
Last year’s team was good, winning 10 games, but this year’s has the makings of something truly special. Furtek is not one to count his chickens before they hatch, but the hens are certainly warming up a potentially great season for Mashpee if the club lives up to its potential. It all starts with the senior class, which includes a dozen Falcons.
Captains Nate Peterson and Dylan Shute highlight the excellent senior class. Peterson, who was a South Shore League all-star as a sophomore before having his season hijacked by an injury last year, is a dynamic player that can distribute and score. He will be a pace-setter up front for Mashpee. Shute, an all-star last year, is an elite level defender who plays with poise and precision. Both bring excellent leadership qualities to the table and their presence alone on the team would make any team a contender.
But, and here’s where it gets exciting, they’re not alone in terms of bringing talent to the table. EMass all-star Romeo Grey is back for the Falcons at striker and will team with Peterson to make up a dynamic duo that will force many a defender to lose sleep in the days leading up to their confrontations with the Falcons. If Grey comes close to matching last year’s output of 15 goals, combined with having Peterson in the fold, nightmares will follow those games. Furtek said that Grey will certainly draw extra defenders this year, but his distribution skills should allow for his teammates to benefit from that.
“He was an all-star last year, and he’s improved,” the coach said.
Sophomore Riley LaCroix and exciting freshman Ben Daigneault will see time at wing for the Falcons. LaCroix was a starter last year until an injury derailed his season. Daigneault has been a pleasant surprise during training camp, with skill and speed that bodes well for this year and beyond. Sophomore Michael Ashley, a hustle guy, will come off the bench to play at wing as well.
Seniors Scott Matoian, Jeff Lynch and Fernando Lopez make up a veteran group in the midfield that will see the bulk of the time. Matoian was the team’s Swiss Army knife a year ago, playing forward when Peterson went down and also filling in at backup goalie. This year, as a midfielder, he should be able to excel at his natural position. Lynch and Lopez are both steady players that bring skill and experience to the table. Seniors Taylor Perci, Mike DeManche and Jake Prescott will come off the bench as backups and give MHS even more experience.
In the back, Mashpee will be strong. Shute will see to that, but so will his three senior running mates that are also quite good. Kevin Ronhock, Dan Roberton and Tyler Burtis keep good things from happening for the other team. That’s their job, and they do it well.
“We depend on them to steady things in the back,” Furtek said. “They’re experienced, and ready to go. They communicate very well and they’re tough guys. The four of them are tough characters with speed and smarts. They’re all on the same page.”
Sophomore Bailey Bartley will come off the bench to play as a fullback as well. In net is Connor Murphy, a sophomore that served as the junior varsity keeper last year. Murphy takes over for a talented backstop, Spencer Perlmuter, but he’s growing into the role and has shown the ability to get the job done.
“He has worked tremendously to improve his game,” Furtek said. “He has worked his butt off, and it’s paying off...he’s got a good head on his shoulders, he doesn’t let things rattle him.”
Mashpee hopes to be the ones that are doing the rattling this season. The Falcons kick things off with a game against Monomoy on Tuesday afternoon, on the road. Furtek believes that their game one foes, which is made up of the former Harwich and Chatham High School players, along with Norwell and Cohasset, should be the top contenders in the South Shore League. But it could be Mashpee that’s the favorite. “They get it, they know that they have to put in a day’s work, and they’re willing to do it.”
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