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Milford Boys Soccer Hoping History Doesn’t Repeat

Milford High's boys' soccer team is starting out the 2011 season in a similar fashion to what it did in 2010. The Scarlet Hawks picked up two wins and two ties over their first four matches. Last season, they opened up 6-2-3, but went winless in their final seven matches and ended up missing the district tournament. "It was frustrating for everyone involved," said head coach Jim Asam. "The returners remember that and they are trying to come back and finish a lot stronger this year."
Milford graduated nine seniors from last year's squad, but returns a strong core including three seniors who anchor both sides of the ball. Midfielder Gustavo Rocha has spent four seasons on the varsity squad and scored three goals through the season's first four matches. Senior striker Will Marcal leads the team in scoring with three goals and four assists, and Kevin O'Loughlin is back for another season in goal. "We've only got a few guys coming back from last year but so far it has worked out well," said Asam. "Hopefully that continues."
Milford scored wins over Wachusett and Quabbin to start the season and earned ties against North Middlesex and Tantasqua. The Hawks have received contributions from juniors John O'Neil and Dylan Rizzo along with senior Henrique Rivero. Sophomores Justin Asam and Brian Rodriguez are also expected to see significant time this year at sweeper and striker, respectively. Milford will hope to avoid some of the misfortune that beset the squad in 2010.
"I don't think the struggles last season were due to anything we were doing right or wrong," said Asam. "Last year we lost close games, so far this year we are winning or tying those games."
The Hawks have some tough tests on the docket. After league matches against Shrewsbury and Leominster, Milford will take on Worcester North tomorrow and league-leading Algonquin next week. "(North) is one of the top teams in Central Mass, they will be a really good test for us," said Asam. "Algonquin is always one of the best in our league. It doesn't get any easier for us."
Asam uses a quote from one of the world's most recognizable soccer players to remind his team of what its goal is each day. A sign in the MHS locker room displays a quote from David Beckham, "One thing will not change, we will be going out to win."
"It just reminds them of our goal when we step out the door for every game," said Asam. "So far it has been working for us."




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