Burr and Burton focused on balanced approach

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MANCHESTER — The Burr and Burton boys soccer team hopes that an upperclassman-laden squad will lead it to a successful season in 2018.

BBA has nine seniors and 10 juniors on its roster after finishing last season at 7-7-2. The Bulldogs saw their season end at the hands of Essex 2-1 in the playoffs last fall.

With a veteran roster, BBA is confident it can compete at a high level, but knows there are high-level teams it will have to compete with in Division I.

"If you want to be in contention for a state title in Vermont in Division I, you have got to be able to play with CVU and Essex and St. Johnsbury and schools like that," said Bulldogs coach Peter Mull. "We've already seen Essex and they're really good. Our first game is against CVU, so we have to hang tough with those tough northern teams."

To get to that point, it starts with developing your team chemistry and BBA is focusing on those steps ahead of its first game of the season next Friday against the Redhawks.

"Our goal this year as a team is to be unified and be relentless and to play skillful soccer," Mull said. "Right now, we're working mostly on unity and being relentless. (Thursday's) practice was all about defense and playing together as a team."

Senior Garren Aberth returns in goal for the Bulldogs. Aberth heads into his third year on the varsity team. Mull views him as a coach on the field.

"Garren is a great team leader. He has a lot of work ethic," Mull said. "He's going to have a crew of two other goal keepers he'll be working with and he'll pretty much be the goalkeeper coach as well."

Joining him on the back line are defenders Blake Greene and Aiden Francomb. Both have loads of varsity experience.

"We're looking for leadership from Blake and Aiden. Blake is a four-year starter and Adien was a starter last year."

Jordan Eisenman and Duncan Chamberlain will also be on the back line.

On the offensive end, BBA contends with the loss of its top scoring threat from last year in Ben Stewart. Stewart led the Bulldogs with 10 goals.

With Stewart gone, BBA will be looking for a more balanced approach on the offensive end and a lot of that comes down to the chemistry between their midfielders and forwards.

"We're focusing on chemistry between the forwards and the midfielders and it's looking pretty good with Sean (Lam) and Oscar (Loomis), who have some nice chemistry up top," Mull said. "We have a lot of experience on the wings with Brian Lam, Daniel Hatheway, who is a three-year varsity player. Ian Anglum will anchor the midfield. It's not one person. It's everyone doing what needs to be done."

BBA's opening game against CVU is set for a 4:30 p.m. start next Friday.

Roster: Garren Aberth, Ian Anglum, Karl Bagel, Tommy Baker, Chase Blanchard, Walker Brown, Duncan Chamberlain, Liam Day, Devin Deets, River DeFelice, Jordan Eisenman, William Fox, Aiden Francomb, Jacob Giering, Judd Gourley, Blake Greene, Carsten Harinxma-Toelg, Daniel Hatheway, Phoenix Heleba, Brian Lam, Sean Lam, Colby Leary, Oscar Loomis, John Miceli, Nial Monahan, Andrew Toussaint.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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