August 30, 2014 at 12:46 AM
RANDOLPH, NJ- As summer draws to an end, it brings the start of a new fall sports season. There is always much excitement for high school sports this time of year, as each team is prepping for the upcoming season and trying to improve upon the previous year. For the Randolph Boys soccer team, confidence is riding high coming off an impressive 2013 campaign.
The boys finished the year with an 11-5-4 record, a trip to the county finals, and a birth in the state tournament. Coach George Mousis envisions similar things for his team this year, stating “We want to do well in states and counties, but our first goal is to win our conference.”
The Rams will be looking to replace nine graduating seniors, including four who were regulars in the starting lineup. Leading goal scorer Mateo Panizza ( 8 goals 5 assists ) is returning with a relatively young cast of players around him.
Panizza was a dynamic spark for the team during their exciting run through the county tournament last season, as he delivered the game winning goal in the three tournament games. The team will look to him to lead the offense again this season.
Jake Corpuz, a senior center midfielder, is aware of the challenges the team has to overcome. “Losing nine seniors always hurts, but we still have a lot of youthful talent. We have to work hard and grow together, if we do that we can improve on last season.”
If Randolph can play the type of lockdown defense they displayed last season, they should be able to improve. They have big shoes to fill however, as goalkeeper and defensive leader Greg Moserowitz has graduated. Last season, the first team all county goalie recorded 12 shutouts and had a county leading 161 saves, and anchored the Rams to nine victories by a 1-0 count.
The team is looking to the 2014 juniors and seniors to take the torch and fill those defensive shoes, as well as providing some more offensive punch. Rodrigo Avila ( 3 goals and 4 assists ) is one who will be looked to for more scoring this season.
Randolph opens its season up on September 8th against Morris Knolls, a scrappy opponent who they lost to last year 1-0. The Rams schedule to start the year appears on paper to be a particularly tough draw. With five straight road games against highly competitive teams such as Roxbury, Pope John and Parsippany Hills, there is little doubt that the Rams youth will be tested early.
The team looks at that early test as an opportunity. While it may be a difficult run, the beginning of the season could help the young squad mature into a dangerous opponent near seasons end.