Young Folsom soccer team in rebuilding mode

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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With nine seniors graduated from last year’s squad, many of whom played significant minutes for the Bulldogs, Folsom High’s soccer team will likely face some growing pains, especially early this season. The Bulldogs have played three games and have lost all three, dropping a 3-1 decision to Woodcreek, falling 3-0 to McClatchy and then suffering a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Bella Vista on Thursday. The Bulldogs, however, feature 18 players who all get along and who are on the same page with coach Ray Robitaille, which makes for a good scenario for any team. “This is a great group of kids who are thin on experience at this level,” Robitaille said. “What they lack in experience, though, they make up for in energy, desire and their willingness to learn. They are all coachable.” Robitaille set up a preseason schedule that will challenge his team. Along with the three teams they’ve already played, Folsom faces Antelope Tuesday and have games remaining against Grant and Cordova before the Delta River League opens at Folsom High against Jesuit on Sept. 22. “We want to play up to our opponent’s ability, not down, so we’ve scheduled as many division winners as we could,” Robitaille said. “We want to elevate our game.” Logan Guler, a defender who was called up to the varsity team late last season, is one of several juniors who will be heavily depended on to step up and play well. A team with only six seniors will need help from the underclassmen. “As we play together more we will improve,” Guler said. “We’re still a new team right now, but we will improve. We all get along and have good chemistry.” Team captains include seniors Tristan Rosenberger, Will Stewart and Brandon Reil. Rosenberger is a midfielder, Stewart plays midfield and defense, while Reil is a forward. Other seniors include Greg Patenaude, Jordan Fuller and Kevin Getz. Many players on the team, according to Robitaille, are utilitarian and can and will play different positions. “This is a building year for us,” Robitaille said. “We have a strong returning core and we have some players that are almost there and we have others that need some additional training. We’re going to teach these guys and improve and we’re going to have some fun in there too.”