For Kicks

Bourne High’s Shea Ullo puts the ball back into play on a free kick for the Canalmen during a home game last season.

The previous boys’ soccer season was a grind to get through for the Bourne High School boys’ team. The Canalmen, playing a reduced schedule due to the pandemic, improved over the course of their spring season, but finished up without a victory.

It is unlikely that BHS will suffer through a season like that again. Without setting expectations that are on the unrealistic side, Head Coach Andrew Arki is clearly bullish on his team’s chances for playing at a higher level this fall.

“I think that we are going to be stronger than last year. Again, we are inexperienced, but we have a bright future on the horizon,” the coach said.

Bourne’s boys’ team is in the difficult position of playing a league schedule exclusively against teams in higher divisions, making them the underdogs pretty much every time that they play under the South Coast Conference flag. However, against their non-league opponents that are mostly from similarly-sized schools, BHS should do quite well. The team looks to be, simply put, better than a year ago.

“I expect more results than last year. The players I have returning, with that experience, will build on that. We played very well in several of our games, we just didn’t finish,” Arki said.

Having lost just four seniors from last year’s roster, the majority of the squad from the spring is back in the fold, and they worked to improve their skills during the off-season. Senior co-captain Shane Murray is a prime example of that. The team’s starting goaltender put in the work to ready himself for the battles of the season, and Coach Arki has noticed. “He’s really improved, he’s looked sharpter in training. He has good reflexes and doesn’t get beat side to side,” the coach said.

The potential goalie of the future will be backing up Murray. Freshman Nathan Reynolds, who will get reps with the junior varsity team as well, will be on the bench for the varsity team this year and will see some time with the big club. The six-foot, two-inch, first-year player has shown good hand-eye coordination and a strong game sense.

On defense, senior captain Thomas Sullivan will quarterback the back line. Sullivan missed the majority of the previous season with a broken leg, but the team’s toughest tackler has rehabbed and is ready to return to the battles in the front of the net. Joining him in the back is central defender Colby Lindner, another veteran back-line player that has a resilient motor and speed to mark top opponents.

On the outside, junior Stefan Lumsden has impressed greatly during the preseason. “He’s been my best player in the preseason,” Arki said. “I expect big things from him.”

Opposite Lumsden, on the left side, will be Xavier Enokian, a senior that has moved to defense from the midfield. Enokian is a physical player with good instincts on balls in the air. Junior Quinn Schwefler will come off the bench to play defense as well.

In the midfield, senior Brady Gobeil leads the group from the middle. Gobeil is a solid all-around player with physicality and instincts in the air. Junior Ben Hopwood, a strong two-way player, will cover a lot of field and does a good job of setting the game down. Quinn Moriarty, a freshman, has been a nice surprise during the preseason and has earned a job with the big club. He has good field vision and should be able to both distribute and finish from the attacking midfield spot.

On the outside, in the midfield, Junior Alex Fasoli is a good passer and holds down his position well. Freshman Joziah DeSouza anticipates the game well and has shown a lot of toughness for a rookie. Junior Ethan Grobleski is out injured, with a knee injury, but hopes to be back in the fold before the end of the season. Freshman Jacob Roux will see time on the field and sophomore Scott Lafleur has a nicely developing game and has good ball skills.

Up front, junior captain Shea Ullo has grown into a leader and scoring threat for the Canalmen over the past few years. Ullo is a very creative player and finisher, and had a very strong season last year. He’ll see action with Zack Dodge up front, who may be the fastest player in the SCC, and senior Jabari James, who did not play last year but has made up for lost time. Jones is creative with the ball and is a strong on-ball player.

The Canalmen open their season on Friday, September 10, against Upper Cape Tech. The home game will begin at 3:45 PM.

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