WEST HARTFORD – There will be new faces on the field but things will remain the same for the Northwest Catholic girls soccer team.
After winning two state titles and then advancing to the Class LL quarterfinals in the last three years, a changing of the guard will take place for the Indians, but they still expect to be among the best teams in the CCC.
Coach Todd Sadler is entering his eighth season in charge at NWC and the Indians are coming off a 17-2-3 season. After winning two straight Class M state titles and going undefeated in the process both times, the Indians were moved up two classes and fought it out in Class LL a season ago.
If the Indians are to get back to the top of the heap once again they will have to get leadership and production from their few holdovers as well as some new faces.
“We got through the preseason in pretty good shape. We played some scrimmages and had some things to figure out,” Sadler said. “We use it to get in the swing of things and work on things, I don’t think results matter to many coaches, there are no championships in the preseason and I am happy with the progress we have shown.”
One thing Sadler won’t have to figure out is what he’s going to get from senior midfielder Maddie Borowiec.
Borowiec and Charlotte Carew (outside back/forward) will be Sadler’s two senior starters and Borowiec especially will be leaned on to show the way.
A contributor since she was a freshman, Borowiec has come in for her senior season ready to go.
“Maddie knows what it’s like to be through the battles, she’s tested and has been great in the preseason with her leadership by example,” Sadler said. “She works hard and came in really fit. From her freshman season to being a senior, it’s been cool to see her growth.”
Sadler said Borowiec will be at center mid and can be attacking or holding at that spot as she can score but also defends hard.
A number of players from the program’s recent heyday have moved on, including the Medina twins from last season’s squad. With just two seniors projected to be starting, there are plenty of opportunities for younger players to carve out roles.
“With Nicole and Michelle graduating we have a lot of scoring to replace,” Sadler said. “We have used the preseason to figure out who will step in and rise up and take the varsity spots that are open.”
Despite the changes to the roster, Sadler expects his team to be a contender both in the CCC West and once Class L tournament time comes around.
“Being in the CCC West we feel like we have the toughest division out of the entire CCC,” Sadler said. “All the games are tough and it really truly does prepare us for the tournament. Even though we beat each other up we are ready for the tournament.”
A Class S school by enrollment with numbers slightly down, the Indians will play in Class L this season due to their past success. It’s that success that will also make them one of the games of the season on just about everyone’s schedule. Sadler thinks his team is ready for it.
“We don’t make any excuses, we don’t believe in that,” Sadler said. “Everyone will still be gunning for us. No one cares who graduated or who is injured, no one will feel sorry for us. We will just come out and play hard every single game and not take anyone lightly.”