Team preview: Haldane

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The bitter taste of defeat from last year’s loss in the Class C title game lingers on for Haldane, and it will be a rallying cry in 2013. The Blue Devils were defeated by Solomon Schechter and missed out on a chance to play in the state tournament, so that’s where their sights are set. Coach Ahmed Dwidar seems to feel that he has the firepower to get it done with some returning goal scorers, which he’ll need to get past the likes of Schechter and Hamilton in Class C.

Here are the responses that I received from Dwidar:

What was your final record last season and where did you finish in the playoffs? We were 11-7 and lost in the Class C sectional final to Solomon Schechter.

Who are your key returning players? Jay Marchese, Senior, Midfielder (Capt.); Aidan Draper, Junior, Forward (Capt.); Johnny Rotando, Senior, Defender; Garrett Quigley, Junior, Keeper.

Who are the key players that you lost to graduation? James Rubino, Joe Marigliano, Jake Heitmann and Ciaran Dillon.

Are you anticipating losing any players to the U.S. Soccer Federation season? No.

What do you consider to be your team’s strengths? This year we have many players who are offensively talented so our main strength should be our ability to score goals. Our team speed will have a huge impact in that.

What are some areas of concern? Having someone take on that leadership role. Rubino and Dillon who were both three-year varsity players and won a section title in 2010. They were huge for us last year in that regard. It was like having coaches on the field, so we will need to have someone grow into that role this year.

Which formation do you anticipate using? We will play a variety of formations but we will start the year in a 4-4-2.

What is your goal for your team in 2013? Nothing less than a sectional title. We felt like we let one get away last year and we don’t want to have that taste in our mouths again this year.

Who is your biggest rival(s)? I would have to say our biggest league rival last year was Hen Hud.

Up next: Putnam Valley

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About Author

VINCENT Z. MERCOGLIANO has been with The Journal News and LoHud.com since March 2010. He graduated from New Rochelle High School in 2005 and from Hofstra University in 2009 with a degree in broadcast journalism. He currently covers boys soccer, wrestling and baseball, while assisting with LoHud's Yankees coverage.

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