WAPPINGERS FALLS – Catching up with the Spackenkill boys soccer team at a scrimmage with Ketcham found the Spartans without scoring threat Jake Kaufman, the center piece of last year’s 14-3 team that made it all the way to the Sectional finals.
“Jake was a big loss”, said Head Coach Manny Blanco. “We built the team pretty much around him, but we’re looking to reload and we’ll see what happens. Kaufman graduated and is now excelling at SUNY Cortland. He scoring a goal over the weekend in a 3-2 win for his Red Dragons college team.
Giancarlo Porco, Joey Guerraro and Andrew Moreira are all back along with Kalen McGinley on defense. Porco, Guerraro and Moreira have played together since their youth soccer days. “Our older brothers played together, and we’ve been together since as long as I can remember”, said senior midfielder Andrew Moreira. “We’re all good friends and we have good chemistry”.
Moreira can apparently score right out of the car. He arrived to Tuesday’s scrimmage against Our Lady of Lourdes while the game was already in progress, put his gear down by the team bench, came into the game, and immediately scored a goal.
Meanwhile, Porco continues to be the fastest guy on the field in every scrimmage Spackenkill has had, to date, and Joey Guerraro will continue to use his midfield skills but looks to have bulked up a bit in the off season which will provide some muscle and power on the offensive end.
“We definitely have some speed and we’re looking to take advantage of that.”
Ian Evers looks to take the starting goalie spot. “He’s looking pretty solid right now, he’s somewhat inexperienced; he’s a football player, but he’s a great shot stopper”, said Blanco.
Spackenkill will find its divisional competition to be the usual suspects; Ellenville and Dover will be tough games. Overall, Spackenkill’s nemesis, Rhinebeck, will be a big challenge in Class B of Section 9.
The Spartans kick off the season in a weekend tournament at Wallkill. Spackenkill will meet up with Ellenville on Monday Sept 11th, and Dover on Monday Sept 18th, but won’t face Rhinebeck until the final game of the regular season on Friday the 13th, in October, at Rhinebeck.