September 17, 2013 | 532 views
Defense sets tone for Lawrence
Lawrence boys’ soccer coach Patrick Leary doesn’t expect his team to sneak up on anyone after the undefeated regular season and conference championship it enjoyed in 2012, but the Golden Tornadoes figure to be contenders again behind a stingy defense and opportunistic offense.
“Last year we played very well defensively and also had firepower to strike quickly,” Leary said. “It was a great year. Nobody expects to go undefeated.
“We’re looking to be as strong as we were defensively,” he added. “We’re going to make every effort to keep the ball out of the net. Our mindset is to keep opponents at zero.”
Leading the defensive effort is senior David Ramirez, an honorable mention All-County sweeper with all the tools. “We can always trust him to communicate and organize the defense,” Leary said. “He’s aggressive, skilled, fit and tough. He’s an extension of me on the field.”
The back row also returns senior Widsom Ezihie, an All-Conference selection. He’s a versatile player who contributes to the offense when he sees an open field. Senior Ethan Kohan, who a year ago filled a void at goalkeeper following an injury to Kevin Cancinos and went on to earn All-Conference honors, is moving to stopper. “Ethan’s a good athlete and an experienced and tough soccer player,” Leary said. “We’ll probably use him to mark opponents’ top players.”
Cancinos, a junior, is back to 100 percent after missing the majority of last season with a wrist injury. He opened 2012 with back-to-back shutouts before getting hurt. “He looks ready and we’re looking for him to pick up where he left off,” Leary said.
The coach noted sophomore Haris Deljanin, a late-season JV call-up last fall, is capable of stepping right in and producing at fullback along with junior Chris Monzon.