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Rebuild Close to Completion for MHS Boys Soccer

The Milford High boys soccer team finished the 2014 campaign with a 5-11-2 overall record, but head coach Jim Asam sees a lot more positives than the numbers might indicate. "On paper, I think it looks a lot worse," he said. "Going through the season all you have to do is look back and you'll see instances where it could have happened, where we were close. The record doesn't look too great but overall it's a difference of three or four games we let get away. If we can win those, we are in the tournament."
Milford started the year with three straight wins, beating Mansfield, King Phillip, and Attleboro. After a tie with Sharon, the first of two prolonged losing streaks began. The Scarlet Hawks dropped six in a row before snapping the skid with a tie and a victory over North Attleboro. They could not seize the momentum, however, and five more ended up in the loss column before a win over Sutton in the season finale.
Kevin Ribeiro and Juan Quintero lead the way offensively for Milford. Ribeiro was named to the Hockomock League All-Star team and finished with five goals and three assists. Quintero netted six goals and added three helpers, and earned an honorable mention on the league All-Star rolls. "Those two guys definitely added their offensive power, though maybe not as much as they would have liked," Asam said. "They helped us out in some big games though and were definitely our strongest guys on the attack."
Junior captain Justin Borges is slated to return next year after scoring four goals this season. "He was a plus for us on both ends of the field," Asam said. "He didn't come off the field much at all. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do to improve."
Mike DaSilva will also be back for a fourth season in goal. He finished this year with a 2.77 goals against average but Asam knows that number is not indicative of the way his keeper played. DaSilva kept Milford in a number of games throughout the year. Luis Goncalves and Marcello Panno are also among the group that will give Milford a good deal of varsity experience next fall.
"I think it's all about teamwork," Asam said. "We have a lot of good individual players but you have to be able to play together as a team. I am looking for that next year and I think it's going to be easier because we have so many guys returning. These are guys who gained that experience and can continue to get better next year."
Sometimes the simplest explanations are the most accurate. Asam says his team struggled to win because it struggled to put the ball in the net. "We just have to finish," he said. "Our lack of scoring hurt us in closer games. We needed to keep attacking and finish."
The head coach also feels his team is closer to contending than the record may indicate.
"I think we all had high hopes the way we started and everyone was eyeing that league title," Asam said. "If you look at some of the teams we beat, you'll see teams like Attleboro and Sutton who are still playing now in the tournament. Two years ago Foxboro was 0-16-2, this year they won the league. I hope our guys realize we are much closer than that. We are seven or eight months away from being able to compete again."




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