Boys soccer season preview: NSCD spends preseason training in England

Evanston's Mark Roth slide tackles Glenbrook South's Peter Campbell during a game on Sept. 24, 2013. | File

North Shore Country Day

The vast majority of area boys soccer teams have held tryouts and prepared for the season locally during the preseason, but North Shore Country Day was scheduled to spend more than a week of its preseason across the Atlantic in England.

Glenbrook South

Seong Ha is a busy man.

Not only is he a business education teacher at Glenbrook South and the Titans’ girls soccer coach, Ha is in the midst of his first year as the school’s boys varsity coach. He’s also a coach at FC United.

Glenbrook North

Glenbrook North coach Paul Vignocchi was a goalie during his playing career, and he said he’s always had the outlook that the best way to build a soccer team is from the back up.

That’s how the Spartans are constructed this year. Junior Ian Albert is scheduled to start in goal. They return senior Craig Angelbeck, as well as sophomores Jackson Grabill and Seth Grossman, on defense from last year’s squad.

New Trier

New Trier returns senior defender Tim Moriarty and senior midfielder Steven Childs this year. Those two players are part of a 17-person senior class that has New Trier coach Wes Molyneaux enthusiastic about the upcoming season.

Another source of excitement for Molyneaux and the Trevians is their options at forward. New Trier, which went 12-4-7 last season and struggled to score at times, has four more-than-capable forwards.

Loyola

Some teams are able to lean on one or two high-end forwards to score a bevy of goals and carry the offense. Loyola doesn’t appear to be one of those teams.

Ramblers coach Rob Etheridge said the Ramblers, who return three starters from last year’s squad, will need players in a variety of places on the field to score goals.

Evanston

Evanston returns a talented, experienced core on defense from its CSL South championship team in 2013. That group is led by senior center back Bret Lowry, an all-state selection a year ago. It also features second-year goalie Adam Masters, a junior, senior Mark Roth and senior Ben Osterlund.

Roycemore

Participation hit a valley at Roycemore last year. The Griffins had 11 players on their roster, and they played with 10 in their Class 1A regional final when one didn’t show up.

Maine South

The Maine South boys soccer team returns six of its seven leading scorers from a team that scored 50 goals a year ago, but the Hawks’ defense is inexperienced at the varsity level.

Niles West

Niles West senior midfielder Mario Ljubic was crucial to the Wolves’ development this offseason.  The captain was in charge of getting his teammates into the weight room for strength and conditioning, Niles West coach Scott Ackman said, and he ran captains’ practices.

Niles North

Niles North will have to replace an eight-person senior class that helped the Vikings win their first CSL North title last season.

Ridgewood

Ridgewood switched its formation in the offseason, going from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1. The 4-5-1 will change the job descriptions of two of the Rebels’ best players.

Senior Jakub Korzec will still play as a striker, but a big component of being the lone forward in a 4-5-1 is holding the ball and then distributing it.

Northridge

Northridge coach Desmond Ryan has a rather unique choice to make during the opening weeks of the season. He’s trying to decide where to use senior Conner Mongoven, who excels as both a forward and a goalkeeper.

Notre Dame

Mike Smith has been a big part of Notre Dame soccer in recent years, first as a player for the Dons from 2003-07 and then as a coach in the program’s lower levels. Now, he’s the varsity coach.

Smith was appointed to the position in June.

Maine East

Maine East tried using a 4-4-2 formation with a flat back four near the end of last season, but it didn’t work. The Blue Demons’ offside trap was exposed, first-year Maine East coach Jeff Bishop said, which forced them to switch back to a sweeper-stopper system.

[Read the whole preview at High School Cube News]

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