Weekly Feature

2017-09-13 / Sports

Kenmore East boys soccer starts 4-0-1

A potent and disciplined offense has led Kenmore East to a solid start to the season. The Bulldogs are 4-0-1 through five games, with some impressive wins in league play. The offense has been a major key to the early success.

“I think for the first time in a while, we are doing a good job creating on offense,” Kenmore East coach Rolfe Freidenberg said. “We’re just able to score more goals and put away more chances. One thing that a lot of parents and some refs have commented on is that we’re able to move the ball nice, keep possession and create opportunities.”

The scoring on offense has come from quite a few different places, but Papouch Schmoyer and Kyle Hofschneider have stood out in that department.

“Papouch and Kyle Hofschneider are both scoring goals,” Freidenberg said.

“Both are very fast and hard to contain. Teams have tried to double team them and they’re still able to get around guys.”

Meanwhile, both Dylan Cunningham and Brandon Guarino have been key to setting up scoring opportunities.

“Dylan Cunningham has been good with distribution,” Freidenberg said. “He’s been great in the midfield. He had seven assists in the first weekend. He’s been able to create some stuff, so I’m really happy with his play.

“I’m really happy with Brandon Guarino, one of our center backs. He’s a field general, who plays very physical. He gets the ball out when we need to. He stays composed when he needs to. He can distribute the ball too.”

After some lopsided early wins over West Seneca West and North Collins, the Bulldogs got their first league win of the season over Lew-Port, 3-1. Franc Schmoyer, Hofschneider and Papouch Schmoyer scored in the win.

“That was a big win for us,” Freidenberg said. “They knocked us out of sectionals last year. They’re a solid team. We had a real quick start where we went up 1-0 in the first minute. It’s nice to get a quick start.”

The Bulldogs then took on perennial power Grand Island. A Papouch Schmoyer goal gave them a 1-0 lead early in the first half. The game would stay that way until near the end of the second half, with Kenmore East narrowly missing on a few chances to up the lead. With about five minutes left, the Vikings tied the game up. The score would remain 1-1, giving the Bulldogs the first blemish on their record.

“We were up most of the game,” Freidenberg said. “We scored 12-15 minutes in and we were playing really well. After that, we just missed so many opportunities. Guys hit the post and the crossbar. We could have made it 2-0 or 3-0. With about five minutes left, they tied it up. We led basically all game, so I was a little disappointed we couldn’t get the win and get to 4-0.”

The Bulldogs moved to 4-0-1 with a 14-0 win over The Charter School for Applied Technology Saturday. Cunningham had a goal and six assists.

“What I really like so far is our offensive talent,” Freidenberg said. “I know that we have a lot of good players that can create offensively. I love the way that we’re moving the ball around and the different runs we’re making. It looks like we’re playing soccer and playing with a purpose. We’re not just kicking the ball around and reacting.”

While Freidenberg is pleased with his team’s start, there are some areas he would like to improve on. One of those is being more organized on defense.

“I want us to focus more on our defensive organization,” Freidenberg said. “We had a chalk talk this week and watched some film. We want to make sure the guys understand that they need to organize quickly and have a sense of urgency. We can’t allow other teams to create opportunities.”

The team is coming off a recent stretch of only one game in nine days before the CSAT affair. That break is over, as they’ll now have five games in their next two weeks.

“We’ve had kind of a break for the past week,” Freiden- berg said. “I’m looking forward to getting back in the mix.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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