Tonawanda News — Juniors Damon Lepine and Jon Gardner give the Bulldogs the benefit of veterans in the center-midfield.
But its the influx of new faces that could be the X-factor for the Bulldogs who welcome in Sam Tulipane, McQuaid Smyth and Ron Scime. All three bring an edge that Friedenberg feels has been missing for the past several years.
"I'm excited because I feel like I've been lacking in size for a couple of years and I've picked up a few guys who seem to be throwing their bodies around and throw their weight around," he said.
— Dave Ricci
The St. Joe's soccer team had a chance to be real good last season, but the national academy program pulled four of the Marauders' top players before the season even began.
After a 5-13-1 record in 2012, nine of the 13 losses by only a goal, St. joe's coach Mike Thoin believes his team has a chance to be real good this season.
"I have some size this year, six kids over 6-foot," he said. "We like to posses the ball and move it very quickly because we have a lot of team speed. I think we're much better off than we were last year."
Returning for the Marauders is junior goal keeper Will Boerema, who has been named All-Catholic the past two seasons.
St. Joe's went to states with Boerema in net in 2011 and Thoin hopes for this year's squad to follow the same blueprint.
"We went to states with Will as a freshman. I expect to have a good chance to return to what we did his freshman year," Thoin said. "He's technically very sound, he's very smart and he runs the team from the back line."
Also returning for the Marauders are seniors Armand June and Andrew Lutlie. Thoin said junior Henry Frome will also be a big contributor and Hunter Walsh has a chance to be a good offensive weapon for St. Joe's as well.