Developing player versatility important for Goodwin Tech boys soccer

Published on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 21:34
Written by SHELBY IAVA


NEW BRITAIN - The Goodwin Tech boys soccer team was given a unique opportunity Tuesday afternoon, usually one reserved for practice or scrimmages.

As the Gladiators took the field, not all of them lined up in their normal positions.

“I started giving some kids who play defense an opportunity to move up,” Goodwin Tech head coach Ron Murray said after his team’s 6-0 win over Vinal Tech. “You know, play and enjoy the game upfront, which they never get to do.”

Defender Christian DeLeon was one player who switched positions and it was not hard to notice the excitement.

“What was funny was you could see his passion on the field,” Murray said. “When he went in there he was really excited about trying to do some damage.”

Murray stressed that as a team, they would never want to “stick it in another teams face” by putting players in different spots, but when kids who don’t normally get playing time, or time at a certain position, they’re going to take advantage of every opportunity they get.

“Even earlier in the second half [on Tuesday] we had Jason Gray and he actually slammed into one of the kids,” Murray said. “The coach from the other team was a little upset with us because he felt that we were going a little bit over the top. But that’s another kid that doesn’t normally play so he’s trying to impress [his] coach just as much as he can. We’re trying to give these kids an opportunity to play. We’re trying to be fair, but we’re also trying to let our kids enjoy the game.”

Even though the Gladiators had multiple players in new positions, they didn’t have many problems getting adjusted to their interim positions.

After beating Vinal Tech earlier this season 1-0, Goodwin Tech’s offense was quick to make an impression in this game, scoring four goals in the first half and two more in the second. The defense didn’t give the Hawks many chances either.

“Our game plan was to keep our heads in the game and to stay focused,” Goodwin Tech forward Angel Patino said. “Our passing and communication was working well and we didn’t let anything slip up. Coach tells us every team is dangerous so we took them as a dangerous team so we had to keep our heads in the game at all times.”

“Everyone was focused on the game,” captain Hunter Holley said. “We can’t come in thinking we’re going to win because that’s when we’ll slip up. We just focused on the game plan and worked well as a team.”

Having a versatile team that can play multiple positions will be key moving forward, especially since the Gladiators (5-6-1) only need two more wins to qualify for the Class M state tournament.

It’s much different than last season when Goodwin Tech finished 1-11. And if they qualify, it will be the first time since 2014.

“We want to continue to play like a team, win more games and get to states,” Patino said.

Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Goodwin Tech on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 21:34. Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2018 21:43.