Pass-first mentality helps boys rebuild

Sophomore+Amine+Benkirane+dribbles+the+ball+against+Alonso.+%28Photo+by+Matt+Lutton%29

Sophomore Amine Benkirane dribbles the ball against Alonso. (Photo by Matt Lutton)

One hundred twenty five passes a half.
That’s what head coach Steven Colborne says the soccer team needs to be successful. Without that many passes, the offense will simply struggle to score goals this season.
The 3-5 Terriers are currently working on rebuilding after losing five senior last year, including Blake Rehl and Brian Spivak, who scored 62 percent of last season’s goals.
“Obviously they [Rehl and Spivak] were a big part of the team, but I think we’ve gotten over them having gone and have stepped up quite a bit to the challenge,” senior captain Jake Kennard said.
Rather than replacing key players with different individuals, the soccer team has relied on teamwork and sound fundamentals to pick up the offensive slack. Rehl and Spivak combined to score 42 goals last year. Now, with these two gone, no single player has scored more than 5, as of Monday.
“We’re playing more as a team,” Colborne said. “Last year, a lot of times we would just look for [the seniors] to score, but now we’re playing more as a team.”
Junior Nikhil Saligame agreed, saying this year’s team plays better as an all-around unit.
“Our style of play is a lot more balanced now, our possessions are better, and our counter attack is more efficient.”
However, the absence of overpowering goal scorers is still noticeable. Saligame himself had to change positions for the betterment of the team. The former defender is now playing forward to facilitate ball movement. The transition hasn’t been too difficult for him, and he already has two goals on the year.
The team also lost its starting goalie from last year. The Terriers have given up almost 3.5 goals a game in the five losses this season.
Following three straight losses, the team added a backup keeper Cade McCurdy as a precaution. Colborne said he hopes the addition of another keeper will encourage the current goalie Bryan Pagoada to put forth greater effort both in practice and games.
“Maybe it will make [Pagoada] work a little harder knowing there is somebody competing for his job.”