NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Algonquin Regional High School’s soccer teams have a history of success. In the past two years, the girls varsity team has made it to the Division 1 semifinals twice before being knocked out. The boys, meanwhile, were Division 1 champions in 2010 and fell in the semifinals in 2011.
This year, both teams know they have their work cut out for them to repeat — and even surpass — their success.
According to girls varsity coach Scott Taggart, the players who graduated last spring were responsible for about 80 percent of the goals scored last season. The team’s goal, he said, is to work to improve its offense.
Luckily, Taggart added, this season’s roster contains 25 players. “It’s a deep team,” he said.
Senior co-captains Chloe Herczeg and Michaela Horne said that younger players are fitting in well with the team. Herczeg is an outside back, while Horne plays center-midfield.
"Everyone here is deserving," Horne said. Added Herczeg: "There’s no clear distinction between first line and second line."
"I feel pretty good about where we are," Taggart said. "Everyone has been working extremely hard on what we’re trying to accomplish."
For the boys, graduation took an especially hard toll. According to Coach Ken Morin, the team lost 14 seniors. There are now only four on this especially young team.
"It’s always an adjustment period," Morin said. "This year these younger guys are being thrown to the wolves right away."
The three senior co-captains — Troy Tanzer, Connor Henry and Nolan Lescallet — agreed that the season will take work. Tanzer plays center, attack and midfield, while Henry and Lescallet play center-back.
"There’s no option for losing," Tanzer said.
"Last year we knew we had a lot of talent," Lescallet said. "This year we know we have to work for it."
Said Morin, "Our seniors are really good at leadership. I’m pretty confident in these guys."
Both soccer teams were scheduled to play their home openers Saturday, Sept. 8, against Shepherd Hill Regional. However, that game was delayed by the threat of thunderstorms. The next games are scheduled for Tuesday against Groton-Dunstable. The girls will play at 5 p.m. The boys will follow at 7 p.m. Both games will be played at home.