Boys soccer: St. Joseph took step forward

Kenny Schneider (above), Sawyer Meehan and Tyler Higgins captained the St. Joseph Cadets. — David G. Whitham photo

St. Joseph High head coach Carlos Reinoso Jr. received all that he asked for from his players.

“Overall our program has improved and our varsity team has had their best season in awhile,” said Reinoso, who guided St. Joseph to a 3-11-2 record in his second year at the helm.

“As you know we compete against some large programs in the FCIAC and this season was no different. This season we have surprised many. It all began in our preseason and continued through our regular season.

St. Joseph better its mark by seven points from 2017. The highlight was playing FCIAC finalist Danbury High to a 0-0 draw. They also were level with Wilton (3-3) and recorded victories over Westhill, Trinity Catholic and Bridgeport Central.

“I believe we are back on the map and people are asking and wondering about us which is good,” Reinoso said. “We want them asking, we want them wondering because that means we are doing something different and good.”

Reinoso had questions to answer entering the season.

“My concern was our number of players and the potential injuries we would suffer,” he said. “This season we rostered twenty onto our varsity team which left our JV team with fifteen players. With only thirty-five players, I needed to keep my players healthy.

“One of our unfortunate downfalls was having two to three players out for our last three games. At one point, we were missing three starters. We had three weeks with three matches per week. I felt that my starters didn’t get enough rest and recovery time. I know it’s the nature of the high school schedule, but in our case we are at disadvantage. This is no way an excuse but a reality. That is why my goal is to continue to grow and improvement the program one season at a time.”

Reinoso liked his team’s balance.

“Overall our team has improved offensively and defensively,” he said. “We had a total of eighteen goals and that was not the case last season when we couldn’t find the net and our passing wasn’t were it is today.

“Our passing improved and so has our finishing. This season we changed our formation when necessary, studied and worked on some set plays and we capitalized up top a lot more. As the season progressed, we became more and more confident and that all comes from hard work and playing as a team.

“I want to take this opportunity to mention that I am not a one man show, I am part of a coaching staff. I am companied by two experienced coaches Jose Aja and Fabian Cano, who understand the game as I do and bring their experiences and knowledge to the pitch.

“We work tremendously well together and it shows when we address the boys and run through training sessions. So are improvements as a team have been a testament of our work with them.

“Our seniors have been great leaders and teammates to all especially our captains, Tyler Higgins, Sawyer Meehan and Kenny Schneider. They have been great role models and a tremendous voice. I am very pleased on how the captains conducted themselves all season. They took charge when necessary and where able to keep our team informed and focused.

“This season our captains stressed the fact that we are not only a team, but a family and that spoke on and off the field. We are graduating twelve seniors and they have all contributed to the program on and off the field.”

Jack McDermott, Jake Papanes, Reid Popick, Tom Luciano, Rob Razzaia, Ben Talbot, Charlie Asetta, Mark Leonardi and Matt Bianco provided that senior leadership.

“I can truly say that they are all wonderful young men who will go on and do great things,” Reinoso said. “The one thing I hope they always do is continue to enjoy this beautiful game.”

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