|IAC BOYS SOCCER: SVEC COACH BANKING ON DEFENSE TO CARRY EAGLES IN 2017 (2017-09-06)
Valley Sports Report
SPENCER — SVEC suffered the majority of its losses on the offensive side of the ball, so co-coach Jason Banks is banking on the Eagle defense to carry the load in 2017.
(SVEC opens the 2017 campaign this afternoon when it hosts Marathon at the Candor High School field.)
“Defense will be our strength,” said Banks. “We return several older and more experienced players back there.
“We’re very confident in our defenders, most of them are returners and most of them were IAC all-stars last year,” he added.
Three-year starter senior Jake Wentworth will be in goal for the Eagles.
“He’s talented,” said Banks. “He’ll keep us in a lot of games.”
Seniors Bryant Sexton and Zach Sherwood will anchor the defense.
“We will rely on (Sexton and Sherwood) to help bring along some of our younger players,” said Banks.
Sophomore midfielders Hunter King and Alex Doucett, and striker Lance Jensen, also a sophomore, will man the key spots on offense.
“We’re young, but talented in the midfield,” said Banks. “They’re going to be solid soccer players in the years to come, it’s just going to take a little while to figure out how to score goals.
Young players like freshman Ian Potter, and sophomore Daniel Thomas will also see playing time.
Seniors Tim Vallely and Igor Leal, juniors Devin Benesh, Ethan Howe, Gavin Lyndhurst, Jeb Paroll, and Corey Whatley will all vie for time.
Sophomores Kade Haney, Ryan Hodges, Ty’vonne Benners, Owen Parillo, Eli Reese, and Matthew Suttmeier will also push for time.
“We have a strong sophomore group, they’re just young,” said Banks.
Getting his younger players up to speed will be a key for the Eagles in 2017, says Banks.
“Our keys are just being able to moe the ball on the ground, play strong possession ball that coach (Gary) Holmes and I like to play. We’ll be looking to do that, and breaking some of the habits our younger players have learned, like the long kick-ball thing and run after it.
“We need to get them to understand the tactical part of the game a little more,” Banks added.
The Eagles are coming off a 9-5 season and a IAC South Small School Division title. So what does Banks expect in 2017.
“We don’t necessarily have a win-loss expectation,” he said. “We just want the team to progress in the right direction. We want to keep our focus on improving and staying positive if things don’t go our way when we see those more talented and experienced teams.
“We hope to compete in every game because we have that strong defense, and keeper,” added Banks. “I think we’ll be able to compete, it will come down to putting the ball in the net.”
ON IAC SOUTH SMALL SCHOOL
Trumansburg has been moved to the South to replace Tioga, which folded its program.
“Trumansburg is going to be difficult,” said Banks. “They didn’t lose much from last year, and they battled Lansing for the Large School title in the North last year. Bringing them down to the Smalls is going to be a challenge for us.
“O-M is always a strong team. They have a couple of very talented athletes,” added Banks. “I think it will be a battle between the three of us.”
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