BENNINGTON >> After a pair of Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015, the Mount Anthony boys soccer team look to continue its run of success, but they'll have to do it in 2016 after losing eight senior starters from last year's squad.
"We've had 25 wins in the last two years. This is a great group of guys and there's big shoes to fill," said coach Mike Molloy. "We're trying to get them to play with no pressure, every year is a different team. We have some inexperienced guys that have to figure out the speed of play of varsity soccer."
The Patriots have seven returning players from last year's 13-4-1 team, but only three — Trey Lang, Matt Anderson and Ben Winslow — played significant minutes.
The team has five seniors and five juniors, along with five sophomores and freshman Torin Broderick.
Sophomore Jeff Potter, who played sparingly last season, will be one of the main players up top and Molloy said he expects Potter to put up some numbers.
"He has varsity lacrosse experience, he's a big body [in the middle]," Molloy said. "We lost a lot of goals and we need to have him scoring. One of his jobs to put the ball in the back of the net."
Lang will move around between the midfield and defense, while fellow senior Josh Comalli will play in the front third. Brian Grace will play as an outside midfielder again this season as well.
Broderick is one of a rare group, freshmen playing on the MAU boys varsity team. Molloy said he wouldn't bring him up unless he was going to be a contributor.
"He's a special player. He's best in open space and we have to find that space for him," Molloy said. "I expect big things in the future, whatever he gives us this year is a bonus. He's only 14, people will love to watch him in the future."
Junior Dylan Woodside takes over as the team's starting goalie, but he's facing pressure from sophomore Jack Rogge.
"Dylan has some big shoes to fill, with [Hunter Davis'] graduation," Molloy said. "We're still figuring it out. We have no experience in the goal this year, so we're still sorting it out. Jack is champing at the bit to play, we have good competition there."
Playing CVU and Mount Greylock in a scrimmage on Tuesday, the Patriots lost by close scores, but the goals were scored on what Molloy called 'brain mistakes.'
"We can fix those, this is my adage, we will be better at the end of the year than we are now, we have to grow into ourselves," Molloy said.