With senior captain Joe Cusack distributing the ball as well as any in the midfield and All-Hockomock League forward Dylan Barreira on the attacking end, coach Joe Franchino and the Foxboro High boys’ soccer team is hopeful another successful season is on the way in 2019.
The Warrior boys come off a strong 2018 campaign in which they scored more goals than anyone in the Hockomock and concluded the year with their second trip to the Division 2 South Sectional semifinal since 2015.
Foxboro finished with a 9-7-5 overall record in 2018. They tallied a pair of MIAA Tournament wins before being eliminated by eventual sectional champion Nauset in the sectional semifinals.
Franchino is confident about the backbone in the middle for Foxboro. Barreira is up top, Cusack is in the middle with fellow senior captains Ronnie MacLellan playing as a holding/defensive midfielder and Tim Behn playing as a central defender.
Barreira will be the key cog in the Warrior offense as he comes off a team-best 26-goal year as a junior. With the speed and skill of Barreira up front, the Warriors netted 57 goals as a team. He will be complemented by junior striker Max Beigel, sophomore Matt Angoline among others.
“I know we’ll score goals, you know, we always have,” said coach Joe Franchino. “And Dylan (Barreira) up top is a special player, but we have to stay connected defensively, so that front line, if they can be first line of defense and make it difficult for the other team, I think not only will that help (limit) scoring, but keep the ball in the other half.”
Cusack will return to the center of the pitch where his skill and distribution of the ball stood out during his 15-assist season as a junior. Cusack will be complemented by MacLellan, who a key defensive player last season, and junior P.J. Frost.
Behn, a multi-year starter, will lead the group on the back line along with central back and freshman Marco Paeini. Junior Jeremey Neale and sophomore Zack Raymond will likely fill the right and left sides, respectively.
Franchino is also looking forward to the Warriors’ goaltending ability with senior Dylan Tierney, junior Nick Penders and sophomore Derek Axon.
“I think our goal tending is going to be a strength,” Franchino said. “I think for us, the Hock is always the No. 1 thing that we want to do. We’ve come so close the last few years, three out of the four years, so that’s always the goal.”
“I know we’ll score goals, you know, we always have. And Dylan up top is a special player, but we have to stay connected defensively, so that front line, if they can be first line of defense and make it difficult for the other team, I think not only will that help score, but keep the ball in the other half.”
Foxboro will open its regular season next Thursday against Mansfield.