Oakville High boys’ soccer team sets its sights on excellence for ’13 season

Coach hopes to take Tigers back to state

Oakville High School boys soccer coach Dave Robben has been very impressed by his squad in the preseason this year.

Oakville High School boys’ soccer coach Dave Robben has been very impressed by his squad in the preseason this year.

By Robert Chalupny

Following a trip to the state semifinal game in 2011 and a district championship in 2012, the only thing one can expect from the Oakville Senior High School varsity boys’ soccer team in 2013 is excellence.

The Tigers return nine starters from last season, which is almost half of their 19-man roster. If the preseason is any indicator of how the season ends up, they are headed in the right direction.

Oakville head coach Dave Robben told the Call he has been very impressed by his squad in the early going.

“Preseason has been really good,” he said. “Everybody’s working real hard. We are seeing a lot of understanding of the system, our style of play in terms of what we want to do. We’ve thrown a lot at them and they’ve absorbed it, and we’re seeing some real good stuff.”

Of the returning players, Nick Makowski has the most experience and was on the 2011 state team. Michael Ruzicka also had some playing time on that state team as a sophomore.

Also returning to help the Tigers soar through the ranks this year with their skill and veteran leadership are Eric Tate, Jake Dodge, Ryan Garst, Clayton Hunt and Blake Johnson.

Juniors Justin Pike and Ben Stevens are expected to be big contributors and are part of that returning core.

The goal-tending spot is covered with Ed McInerney, who has the most experience, but has some fierce competition for the No. 1 spot from teammate Joe Martinelli.

As far as his expectation for the 2013 season, Robben hopes to take his Tigers back to state.

“We were district champs last year. So once you’ve done that, that would certainly be part of the expectation. We lost in the sectional round to Chaminade 4-1. So, anytime you go into a season it’s always to try and finish the season better than you did last year,” he said. “I mean those are some pretty high expectations considering the districts and the sectionals.

“There’s some good players and some good teams. You have to be ready to go.”