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More Experience for 2017 MHS Boys Soccer

Milford High boys' soccer coach Brian Edwards enters the new season with the benefit of numerous players who saw time last season, and hopes the experience translates into strong soccer at the end of the season.
"Last year, we had a bunch of sophomore starters and all of those guys are juniors now," Edwards said. "It's a good problem to have. I walked into a program last year and it was like 'who wants to play soccer?' Now, we have a lot more athletes in the program and we can be a lot more selective with roster spots."
Edwards said he was excited to see the progress his team was able to make last season. The Scarlet Hawks finished 4-10-4 overall, but Edwards said he saw steady improvement as the season progressed.
"The guys worked hard last year," he said, "and I hope it pays off this year."
Andre Oliveira returns for Milford as a captain and a three-year starter who also played major minutes his freshman year. "He is an incredible talent," Edwards said, adding Oliveira will play on the attack frequently even though it is not his natural position. "He's also a natural leader."
Jake Balzarini returns as a center back, having focused on the defensive end of the field his entire career. Edwards described Balzarini, who also plays hockey, as a "great athlete and a good defender who understands and organizes our defense."
Edwards said he expects a great deal of competition for starting midfield spots. Junior Tiago Carvalho is one likely starter. "He is a smart player who is very creative and good on set pieces," Edwards said. "He is good at delivering the ball where it needs to be because his vision on the field is so strong."
Jordan Borges will also move back to midfield after having to play forward much of last fall.  "He is another gifted player who is strong physically and sees the field well," his coach said. "He was a bit out of position last year, but we played him there just to get him on the field."
Edwards said the strength of the team will be determined by how much players have developed between their sophomore and junior seasons. Not one to make predictions, Edwards stressed the importance of playing well at the end of the season and hoped to put together a strong enough season to make the playoffs.
"We have the potential to be stronger than we were last year," he said. "But what we are founded on is playing better soccer this week than we were a week ago and trying to be a hot team at the end of the year."




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