Boys soccer preview: Wilton's talent is no secret
In recent years, coach Jim Lewicki was happy to have the Wilton High boys soccer team fly under the radar — happy to let FCIAC opponents go into the season underestimating the Warriors.
It’s a luxury he won’t have this season. The Warriors will enter Thursday’s season-opening showdown with Greenwich as one of the favorites to win the FCIAC championship.
“It’s a different mindset,” said Lewicki. “We have some great talent. It just depends on what you put on the field and how well you do it.”
Wilton was ranked fifth in the FCIAC in the preseason coaches’ poll.
“We got two first-place votes. It’s the first two first-place votes we’ve ever gotten,” he said. “We’re not under the radar anymore.”
The Warriors have depth, going 20 to 23 deep; they have 15 seniors; and they have 15 players back from last year’s 10-7-2 team that qualified for the FCIAC playoffs.
“It’s a great group of kids. I think they realize what they have, and they’re ready to play,” said Lewicki. “I’m excited.”
The team still needs to fill in some holes, having graduated all-state, all-FCIAC midfielder Dillon Weed, all-FCIAC forward Evan Owen, and All-FCAC East back Graham Parsons, in addition to starting back John Rider, starting forward Patrick Stephens, and goalie James Erario, an All-FCIAC East pick.
But the Warriors will still be potent, especially in the midfield where they return juniors Kyle Dedrick (team-high 15 goals) and David Brown (nine goals), both All-FCIAC East picks last year. They will be joined by sophomore Sean Dedrick, while seniors John Prinner and Sam Slater will play the key defensive midfield spots.
Up top, the Warriors will have senior Robert Aravena (three goals), along with seniors Alx Birch and Michael Lash, who can both also play in the midfield.
The defense and midfield lines are deep and stocked with versatile players, giving Lewicki a lot of flexibility.
“I can put them anywhere, and it’s great. I can play possibly 20 to 22 guys. I really don’t lose much,” said Lewicki. “There’s 20 to 23 guys who can play. I have a very deep bench.”
The defensive rotation features seniors Matthew Schneidman, Michael Contino, Matthew Chann, Ryder Farmakis and Dakota Orton, juniors Connor King and Troy Lamason, and sophomore Spencer Overbeeke.
Senior Connor Brown will also play in the back, but will be out for the first half of the season with an injury.
Midfielders also include seniors Luke Reyes-Guerra-Dunn and Mac McReynolds, and juniors A.J. Galimi, Oliver Quantock and Matt Przybysz.
Senior Peter Como will return in goal, where he split time with Erario last year. The other keeper is senior Zach Haas.