Boys soccer: New-look Bulldogs earn draw with Lions

Bunnell’s Miguel Vanegas (21) and Foran’s Ben Carlson battle for possession. — David. G. Whitham photo

Last year the Bunnell boys soccer team started 10 seniors and a lone sophomore in a season where the Bulldogs pulled off a thrilling 5-4 double-overtime CIAC Class L opening-round win over Torrington and finished with a 7-10-1 record in veteran coach Jim Ginand’s 11th and final season as the head coach.

Those seniors and Ginand are gone.

The sophomore, junior midfielder JoJo Lumasag returns and was named captain shortly before the Bulldog’s season-opening game last Saturday against Foran High in Milford.

The two sides battled for 80 minutes on Saturday with neither side being able to score.

Lumasa held down the midfield, directing play and trying to create transition while Bunnell goalkeeper Owen Jaekle was a busy person making eight saves as the Lions out shot the Bulldogs, 12-3.

First-year coach Joe Baccielo, a Stratford native who played scholastically at Platt Tech in Milford before going on to become a collegiate All-American forward at Waterbury’s Post University, will be relying on the two plus others as the season goes on.

“Owen made two or three crucial saves in that first half while we were struggling to mount any offense,” Baccielo said. “I think we got a little better in the second half. We have so many players with limited experience. What we really did well in the second half was we defended. We didn’t give up any clear-cut chances for them to score.”

Foran took seven of its shots in the opening 40 minutes and missed several chances from close range. Jaekle made a sprawling save on an attempt by Foran’s Ben Cogan at the 17-minute mark and also stopped a pair of headers.

“I applaud him for his play,” Lumasag said. “If not for him today, we could very well have lost three or four to nothing. He made a big impact.”

Lumasag, who has played soccer since he was either three or four, likes the look of this year’s team.

“It’s pretty much a new team, with a new coach and a new system,” he said. “We will be looking to possess. The emphasis will be on defending. It allowed us to have a clean slate today. Coach has told us that we’re going to be the underdogs in most of the games that we go into.

“That’s makes it important for me to take the leadership role; to step up and motivate my teammates. It’s a position that I’ve been in before (in middle school and with travelling teams). And, it’s a role that I like.”

Bunnell will visit New Milford Thursday and host Pomperaug of Southbury on Monday at 7 p.m.

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Stratford Star, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress