By Bob York
Jan Flaska’s glass is always half full. He’s the type of coach who can describe a final record of 2-11-3 as “a good season.”
The Deerfield Academy boys soccer coach will tell you he expected his team to be a good one this season. He’ll tell you he had three players on this year’s roster who earned All-League honors. He’ll tell you he had an outstanding defensive team this fall, one that allowed only 29 goals in 16 games, an average of just under two goals a game. He’ll tell you his team played well in close games. Unfortunately for Flaska, there were just too many close games this fall.
Of Deerfield’s 11 setbacks this season, seven games were decided by a single goal – three by a 1-0 margin and four more by a 2-1 deficit. Then if you throw in a trio of 1-1 ties the Big Green was forced to settle for, it’s easy to see its offense simply wasn’t able to keep pace with its defense. While the Big Green defenders were allowing just 1.8 goals per game, the offense mustered just 13 tallies, or 0.8 goals per game.
Deerfield’s three entries on the Western New England Prep School Soccer Association All-Star roster were, needless to say, concentrated on the defensive end of the field. That list included goalie Ben Bolotin ’12 and midfielders Kurt Heise and Sean Connors, who were both co-captains this season. In fact, Heise was the recipient of this year’s Holbrook-Ellis Cup for his contributions to the game at Deerfield.
Three other contributors on this fall’s defensive unit that Flaska pointed out were Colin Crihfield ’12, Colten McCormick ’12, and KC Beard ’12.
As for the offense, Jackson Dayton ’13, who was voted captain of next year’s squad, headed up the Big Green’s stat sheets with seven points on five goals and a pair of assists, with one of those scores coming in a 1-0 victory over Avon.
Flaska also pointed out Deerfield’s win over Salisbury, as well as a pair of hard-earned 1-1 ties. One came against Worcester Academy, during which Alex Osgood ’13 scored Deerfield’s lone score, while the other was the season finale against Choate.
Flaska’s optimistic attitude has already set on next year’s fortunes, as the Big Green returns 14 lettermen from this fall’s squad.