ARLINGTON >> Last season, the Arlington boys soccer team saw their Cinderella run to the finals of the Division IV playoff tournament end with a lost to champions Proctor on penalty kicks.
That taste of defeat has not left the minds of the Eagles who are driven to get back to the finals again this season.
"Our goal is to get back to the Division IV finals again this season," said Arlington coach Todd Wilkins. "We fell short last year, so hopefully this year we will be able to make it back to the finals and this time bring home the championship."
Arlington brings back a solid nucleus of players from last year's team, led by seniors Jared Lacoste and Alex Paustain.
Both Lacoste and Paustain were top goal scorers for Arlington in 2015 and are expected to do the same this season for the Eagles offense.
Alongside Lacoste and Paustain is fellow senior Darren Golden returns as one of the Eagles top threats on the offense, while senior Ethan Olson returns as the team's top defender on defense.
"We have a good group of guys coming back from last season, which is a big plus for us," Wilkins said. "Jared and Alex are both guys that can score and distribute the ball well. Darren's hustle and will is something that every coach wants their player to have. Ethan was a big key for us on defense last year. We have a good nucleus of players back."
The biggest change for the Eagles this season will be in goal as senior Zach Rogers will take over in net for junior Bailey Cross who will transition to play in the field for Arlington.
Wilkins believes the switch will help make the Eagles stronger at every position on the field.
"Bailey is a fantastic field player and we feel that with him playing in field gives us more speed and athleticism at every position," Wilkins said. "Zach had a great summer in goal and we feel that he's ready to take on the challenge of being our goalkeeper this season."
Speed and athleticism will be the biggest strengths for Arlington this season, along with their tremendous overall worth ethic Wilkins said.
Other players that are expected to become key players for the Eagles this year are juniors Keyshawn King and Lane Nolan at the midfield and defensive positions, sophomore Chase Hoyt is expected to give the Arlington a big boost on offense.
"I think we have some young players here that are ready to make an impact for us," Wilkins said. "With the nucleus of returners coming back this year and the talent we have coming up, I expect us to have another good year."
With their first game now little over a week away, Wilkins said the team is trying to work on improving their fitness levels each day in camp.
Besides that, Wilkins and his team are really excited for the season and can't wait to get the show on the road.
"The kids have been working hard all summer to prepare for this season," Wilkins said. "Every kid on this team loves to play the game of soccer and they are a joy to coach, so I'm looking forward to seeing what this season brings.
Arlington will host Long Trail to open up the season on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.