Torrington girls soccer looks to improve in 2013..By John Torsiello.
By, JOHN TORSIELLO
By head coach Mario Longobucco’s own admission the 2012 season for the Torrington High School girls soccer team was less than satisfying.
“Last season was a big disappointment in many ways,” said the head man, now in his fourth year at the helm (33-19-4) and whose team finished 8-8-2 overall last year. “This year, we have a junior and senior laden team, so my expectations are high. Our starting 11 are pretty solid but our bench is inexperienced. We have to get production from our starters and keep them all healthy. We’re very strong up the middle of the field and our forwards are pretty quick. We want to tighten up our defense and post six to eight shutouts this year and we’ll be in good shape.”
Among the top players returning to the fold are senior Taylor Pestritto, a back, senior Michaela Bottari, a forward, senior Olivia Morrison, a midfielder, junior Paige Middleton, a forward, junior goalkeeper Taylor Howe, and junior backer Kendra Covington. Pestritto, Morrison, Bottari and Middleton were All-Copper Division in the Naugatuck Valley League last year. Morrison, Bottari and Olivia Roberge will captain this year’s squad.
Said Longobucco, “We have a decent group of nine freshmen coming out and they will be the future of the program. A few of them may see some varsity action this year. They will have to beat out bigger, stronger upperclassman for playing time but it certainly can happen.”
The coach believes Naugatuck and Watertown are the two teams to beat in the NVL this fall.
“Those two communities have awesome feeder programs with double digit girls travel teams. Every year, they get a chance to reload with experienced players. Woodland and Holy Cross are always tough as well. There should be a tight race to get into the NVL tournament. We hope to be in the top three or four and above and we’ll see if we can win some postseason games.”
Torrington opens up its season Tuesday in Ansonia at Chargers Field and plays its first home game Thursday against St. Paul Catholic.