2016 Briarcliff Bears
Coach — Brandon Beck
11th year as head coach
What was your final record last season and where did you finish in the playoffs? 9-5-3, ranked No. 5 in Class B sectionals and lost to Edgemont in the quarterfinals.
Who are your key returning players?
Eric Koenig, Senior.
Alex Leahy, Junior
Matt Cohen, Senior
Harrison Singer, Senior
Jack Dineen, Senior
Who are the key players that you lost to graduation? Alex Jacobs, Caleb Asamoah, Brendan Krupa, Aaron Duke.
Did you gain or lose any players from the U.S. Academy system? Yes. Alex Cabeca and Colby Cho.
Who is the most skilled offensive player on your team? Eric Koenig and Alex Leahy have developed a strong midfield presence. Matt Cohen was the second lead scorer behind Caleb Asamoah last year.
The best defender? Jack Dineen, Cam Fash, and John Gross return to the starting back line with plenty of experience from last season.
What do you consider to be your team’s biggest challenges for the season? Last year, we scored the most goals we have ever scored in a season (37), however, we also allowed more goals against than ever. We need to continue to increase goal output while decreasing our goals against ration. Developing our team defensive shape as a unit of 11 is critical. Secondly, we return 17 veterans, eight starters, and appear on paper to have plenty of experience. We will need to play smarter and quicker soccer this year, so we are hoping the experienced players will rise to the occasion. There are plenty of leaders on this team, but the developing transformational leadership in our team will take a lot of work. We are hopeful.
What would you like your team identity or motto to be? We have two team mottos: The players created this three season ago, and it has stuck: “Respect all. Fear none.” For this year, we want to raise our expectations and attempt to improve upon last season: “Nothing is given, only earned.”
In addition, we will be dedicated our season to fundraising and raising awareness for pediatric cancer. On October 17th, Pleasantville and Briarcliff will playing their final match of the season at Pace University, under the lights, and the match will be dedicated to this cause. We have been inspired by many of the teams around the section that have done this and hoping to continue to this tradition in the future.
Up next: John Jay
I’ll be posting these previews every day leading up to the start of the high school season in early September. Coaches, if you did not receive a capsule email and would like to participate, please fill out the questions below and send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.