Sustainable offense key to success

Luca Marinelli, flanked by Thomas Kummer, will be in goal for Foran High when it opens its season.

Luca Marinelli, flanked by Thomas Kummer, will be in goal for Foran High when it opens its season.

David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Foran High hopes an infusion of attacking midfielders will result in a successful season.

“We’ve had trouble the last couple years finding goals,” Lions’ head coach Rick DiStefano said. “We’ve needed seven or eight chances to score one goal. This group can play with pace and if we find those goals then we’ll be fine.”

Foran finished 3-10-3 a year ago and graduated a dozen players, the most telling All-Stater Caleb Tondora and Dan House.

“We lost depth,” said DiStefano, now in his 13th year. “We return a smart group of players. They each understand their role. Tactically we’ll be able to do some things.”

Luca Marinelli will be the goalkeeper.

“Luca is the best keeper I’ve had,” said DiStefano. “He is fearless, a great shot stopper and distributor.”

Austin Vance, Brendan May, Ben Carlson and Dan Silva are team captains.

Vance and May will provide an offensive boost.

“Austin Vance is a dynamic, energizing player,” DiStefano said. “He can get around a defender and is hard to stop.

“Brendan May is the same way, but more technical. He is fast and playing with more discipline. Brendan started out playing outside back, but is too good of an attacker not to play him there.

“Ben Carlson is the Mercedes on our team. He is one of the top three center backs in New England. He plays with great vision and would be a starter on any team.

“Dan Silva is not big, but he plays with grit and links up well with Thomas Kummer, who is our playmaker. Dan’s play is important to our game, because when he is on it takes the pressure off the other guys.

“With Ben Cogan, Sean Park, Mike Young and Christian Boutote, we have a lot of guys that are inter-changeable. They can stay in the middle or play up top.”

Carlson and Eric Haig were due back as center backs.

“We lost Eric for the season with an injury and that is a big blow,” DiStefano said. “Owen Bell is a sophomore who is stepping in. He’s been thrust into a new role and is improving. Our confidence in him is growing every time out.

“Basit Iddrissis is a sophomore and will be our left back. Nico Agresti and Jack D’Avignon are both freshmen, and along with senior Sam Poffenberger will be right backs.

“Dan Cronin is our back up keeper. Elliott Poffenberger and Braydon Young can help in the midfield.”

Foran has done well in the preseason.

“We went 2-0-2 in a jamboree with Stamford, Old Saybrook, Northwestern and Litchfield,” said DiStefano, who will be assisted by Rob Petrie, Alyssa Fratarcangeli and George Bedoc. “I’m pleased that the guys played summer league together. This group likes each other and that is important. If we stay healthy then we will be okay.”

2019 Schedule

Sept. 14 — JONATHAN LAW, 12 p.m.

Sept. 16 — EAST HAVEN, 6 p.m.

Sept. 21 — at West Haven, 10 a.m.

Sept. 24 — at Fairfield Prep, 4 p.m.

Sept. 26 — at Career/Hillhouse, 3:45 p.m.

Sept. 28 — GUILFORD, 10 a.m.

Oct. 1 — at Hamden, 5 p.m.

Oct. 3 — Amistad, 6 p.m.

Oct. 11 — at East Haven, 3:45 p.m.

Oct. 15 — WEST HAVEN, 6 p.m.

Oct. 17 — FAIRFIELD PREP, 6 p.m.

Oct. 21 — CAREER/HILLHOUSE, 6 p.m.

Oct. 23 — at Guilford, 3:45 p.m.

Oct. 25 — HAMDEN, 6 p.m.

Oct. 28 — at Amistad, 4 p.m.

Oct. 30 — at Jonathan Law, 5:30 p.m.

Home games in CAPS