High School Boys Soccer Preview: Monroe County Division I

Hilton’s Justin Arilotta (6) scored seven goals and added four assists in 2017. (Photo: CHRIS ROACH)

FAIRPORT RED RAIDERS (Class AA)

Last season: 11-4-2, lost in quarter-finals to Rush Henrietta in penalty kicks.

Coach: Gianni Bussani (306-110-38/24th year)

Top returners: Brandon Manz (Sr. Center Back), Thomas Bailey (Sr. Center Back), Rorie Simpson (Jr. Forward)

Top newcomers: Kingsley Malcolm (Jr. Forward), Jude Rouhana (So. Midfield)

Outlook: With a large number of new players, the team will have to adjust throughout the season. However, the group of seniors can provide the leadership on and off the field for the Fairport Varsity newcomers. Will the Red Raiders get hot by October?

HILTON CADETS (Class AA)

Last season: 14-4-1, lost to McQuaid in Class AA Sectional Finals

Coach: Mike Ellicott (36-18-3/4th year)

Top returners: Joey Gombatto (Sr. Goalkeeper — averaged 0.8 goals against in 2017), Noah Malta (Sr. Midfielder/First Team All-County) Justin Arilotta (Sr. Forward/First Team All-County — tallied seven goals and four assists throughout his junior campaign), Tom Callery (Sr. Midfielder/Second Team All-County)

Top newcomers: Michael Inglese (Jr. Defender), Brett Wilkins (So. Forward)

Outlook: The Cadets, who return a group of 13 seniors that have played together since before middle school, look to remain a top threat in Division I and Class AA. Their goals for the season are nothing short of defending their Division I title and another sectional run. Will last year’s sectional disappointment fuel Hilton to go all the way in 2018?

VIEW MORE CHRIS ROACH PHOTOS HERE.

PENFIELD PATRIOTS (Class AA)

Last season: 5-10-2, lost 4-3 to Gates Chili in round one of sectionals.

Coach: John Cotsonas (24th season at Penfield, 6th as varsity coach)

Top returners: Jackson Vogt (Sr. Midfielder — recognized with First Team All-League honors in 2017), Steven Kurz (Sr. Defender and captain), Milton Birmajer (Sr. Midfielder and third year starter), Chris Ewell (Sr. Forward and third year starter), Tahj Mounnarat (So. Midfielder), Cullen Masters (Jr. Midfielder)

Top newcomers: Joe Vogt (So. Defender), Mark Zilist (So. Forward), James Bruneau (Jr. Midfielder)

Outlook: Young players gained valuable experience in the 2017 season, getting a lot of minutes due to injuries in the defense. Their experience paired with the returners’, the Patriots are looking to start out hot with their tough fall schedule. Can Penfield showcase its talent early to prepare for the postseason?

VICTOR BLUE DEVILS (Class AA)

Last season: 7-11-1, lost 2-1 to eventual sectional finalist Hilton in quarter-finals

Coach: Steve Fish (149-136-22/18th season)

Top returners: Ethan Ashe (Sr. Defender and First Time All-Leaguer), Anthony Cardilli (Sr. Midfielder), Tyler Bernhardt (Sr. Midfielder), Alex Crane (Sr. Defender)

Top newcomers: Alex Newton (Jr. Midfield)

Outlook: With only a few returning starters, the Victor Boys Soccer team will rely on young players stepping up and adjusting quickly to the tough Division I schedule. Will the Blue Devils’ grit power them to a successful season?

WEBSTER SCHROEDER WARRIORS (Class AA)

Last season: 2-13-1, lost 4-1 in round one to Rush Henrietta

Coach: David Urbanski (120-112-19/18th year)

Top returners: Colin Merkey (Sr. Midfielder), Ben Conrow (Sr. Midfield), Alex Ortiz (Sr. Forward)

Outlook: Eight starters return for the Warriors. After a disappointing 2017 campaign, these eight will lead the way to an improved 2018. Conrow, Merkey and Ortiz, all All-County players, will provide solidarity in the midfield, while two strong seniors compete for goalie. Can the Warriors capitalize on their offensive strengths to be a competitor in Division I?

RUSH HENRIETTA ROYAL COMETS (Class AA)

Last season: Finished 7-10-0 and lost to Hilton in the Class AA semifinals.

Coach: Jake Falci

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