RIVERSIDE – Coach Danny Makaric has built up a solid program at Riverside Brookfield, and the Bulldogs are poised for more success anchored by returning attackers.
The boys soccer team has won three regionals in the past four years and made it to a Class 2A sectional final last season.
RB has won the Metro Suburban Conference the past two years, but 11 seniors graduated from last year’s team.
Despite the losses, there still are key returners. Senior captain Santiago Beltran starts everything in the midfield.
Beltran plays in the center and distributes the ball to forwards Joe Aieta and Jamez Kaczmarczyk, who also are returners.
“He is a nice player,” Makaric said of Beltran.
“As the season goes he is going to get better and better.”
Beltran is a quality midfielder, but the Bulldogs will not always play short passes to possess the ball. The idea is to use the speed and size of Aieta and Kaczmarczyk up top by playing long balls and letting them chase after.
“We try to play in the midfield, but mainly we try to slip those guys balls,” Beltran said. “They’re going to be our goal scorers this season.”
For all of the players lost from the 2012 team, RB has still been starting seven seniors in its early matches. Seniors Quentin Dreilich, Stephen Lechuga, Pablo Garcia, Collin Sventy and Ben Brondos have earned starts alongside Beltran and Aieta.
Two varsity newcomers, Sotero Barraza and Andrew Pilewski, have been starting on the backline in front of sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Rafael.
The youth at the back is something the Bulldogs will need to overcome.
Riverside Brookfield at a glance
Conference: Metro Suburban
Home field: 160 Ridgewood Road, Riverside
2012 record: 15-7-2 overall, 6-0 MSC
Coach: Danny Makaric
Joe Aieta sr. F
Santiago Beltran sr. M
Quentin Dreilich sr. M
Stephen Lechuga sr. M
Jamez Kaczmarczyk so. F
Sotero Barraza jr. D
Andrew Pilewski jr. D
Daniel Rafael so. GK