2016 preview: Park boys soccer returns 10 seniors from '15 squad
The Park boys soccer team will return about 10 seniors from a 2015 squad that was competitive in every game it played last season.
The team will need to replace its two leading scorers from last season, however, and a second-team all-state defender.
Coach Jason Arnebeck appeared confident the team would be able to handle the turnover, thanks in part to the large senior class. The group includes Ryan Zamora and Jack Wagner, both third-year varsity players, as well as several others with varsity experience.
“It’s going to be fun to watch that develop,” Arnebeck said of the senior class’ chemistry. “There’s a lot of potential.”
The group will look to rebound from a 6-10-2 season that featured eight one-goal losses, including four straight at one point to Suburban East Conference opponents. It came after a 2014 season in which Park won 11 games and made the Class 2A, Section 3 finals.
Arnebeck said that last year Park was replacing a strong goalie from its 2014 squad, a position at which the team is still looking for someone to step forward. He said the team will have competition for the spot early in the season.
The team does return several starters in addition to Zamora and Wagner, including ninth-grader Femi Adewola and senior Avery Tillery. They could help fill the void left by the departure of last year’s leading scorers, Alex Hajovy and Peyton Boich, and defender Yemi Adewola, who earned second-team All-State honors from the Minnesota High School Soccer Coaches Association.
Arnebeck said the team is scheduled to compete in a showcase tournament Sept. 9-10 in the Wisconsin Dells, which could give some of his players a chance to be scouted by college coaches. He added that he’s looking forward to a challenging conference and section schedule.
The Wolfpack is scheduled to begin the season Thursday vs. Bloomington Jefferson.