If the soccer team becomes a wolf pack of Warriors, a sectional championship may be in the offing.
Coming off the best season in school history with two players graduated into the college ranks, Coach Elliott Hurtig believes the current edition of the Warriors can attain an even higher level if they continue to push each other like they have been doing.
“One of our goals is to win a Sectional championship,” Hurtig said. “They’re style is like a wolf pack. They work really hard together and feed off each other. If they come together like a wolf pack they can be just as successful (as last year).
The 2011 Warriors were 18-6-1 and led by Joey Calistri, who is now playing for Northwestern University. Another Warrior, Jason Kayne, is competing for Tufts University but the team will not be without a contribution from the Kayne family.
Troy Kayne, the back-up goalie a year ago as a sophomore, will be in the net as Deerfield’s starter when the season opens at 6:30 p.m. today against Fremd. “He’s very good in the air,” Hurtig said. “He’ll help us a lot.”
Leading the Warrior attack this year are a pair of standouts from last year’s varsity, Connor Oriot and Leland Pew. Primarily a defender a year ago, Hurtig expects Pew to spend more time in the midfield and make offensive contributions.
“Leland (Pew) is one of the best defenders in the state,” Hurtig said. “We want to get him in the midfield this year and get more shots off.”
Oriot will spending his time as a forward and midfielder helping to make up some of the offensive punch provided by Calistri. “He’s tenacious, speedy and very scrappy,” Hurtig said. “He’s great up in the air and can finish with his head when he’s near the net.”
Other returning varsity players who Hurtig expects to play a key role in 2012 are Ryan Kaplan, Pooya Shams and Spencer Brailov. Brailov will be one of the leaders on defense while Shams will add punch as a midfielder and scorer. “He’s promised me 10 goals this year,” Hurtig said of Shams.
Two other seniors expected to play an important role are Danny Verb and Tim Klabjan. Along with Oriot and Pew, they will be the Warriors’ four captains.
Hurtig also expects solid contributions from three sophomores—Josh Pollack, Charlie Kogan and Parker James. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had three sophomores (on varsity),” Hurtig said. “They fit into the mold real well.”