BLOOMFIELD, NJ (updated Tuesday July 25, 10:02 a.m.) – The Bloomfield High School boys’ soccer team has high hopes this fall season with an experienced group. The Bengals lost one or two starters from last year’s team that featured mostly sophomores and juniors.
This summer, the Bengals are gaining more experience while competing in both the Montclair State University League on Tuesday nights and the Livingston League on Thursday nights.
BHS head coach Mike Aiello doesn’t put much emphasis on the scores or outcomes of the games in the summer. Rather, the leagues are a great opportunity to try different lineups, positions and strategies.
Aiello likes what he has seen from his hard-working team.
“They’re playing well, playing hard,” said Aiello. “I think we’re going to be a very good offensive team. We got talented players at the midfield and forward positions.”
The leagues conclude play at the end of the month.
The Bengals this summer have received fine leadership from rising juniors Jason Ricca and John Fabiano and rising senior Nick Kovach. Last season Ricca was named to the First Team and Kovach was an Honorable Mention selection on the All-Super Essex Conference-American Division.
Another great thing about the leagues is their competitiveness and the fact that most of the opponents will be the same ones that the Bengals will face during the high school season in the fall.
“I want us to play competitive teams at this point, because it’s all going to help when (the season) starts,” said Aiello.
The Bengals took their lumps last fall playing in the SEC-American Division, which is the highest division of conference, as they finished with a 3-15-3 overall record. This season, the Bengals hope to improve on that mark as they move down to the SEC-Liberty Division, which is the second highest of the conference.
The Bengals begin official practice August 17. They will have their first preseason scrimmage Aug. 26 at Watsessing Park against Morris Hills at 3 p.m. The regular season begins Sept. 7 at Nutley at 4 p.m.