The Torrington boys’ soccer team didn’t achieve its preseason goal of winning the NVL Championship or making it deep into the Class L State Tournament, but one thing they did do was become the winningest team in school history, going 15-1 in the regular season.
Senior midfielder Shane Bierfeldt was a big reason why, in a memorable season for the Red Raiders, which left him being named the Register Citizen All-Area MVP.
“It’s awesome, it was tough that we didn’t get any banners, but it’s good to know we got the record,” said Bierfeldt. “I don’t think it will be broken anytime soon.”
Bierfeldt was a three-and-a-half year starter for the Red Raiders and a captain this past season and during his four seasons, he was asked to play multiple positions.
“He was someone who I could trust at any position,” said Torrington head coach, Mike Fritch. “As a freshman he was a fullback, because we needed someone there, as a sophomore he was a center mid fielder.”
As a junior, Bierfeldt was asked to be more a distributor and this season as a senior, he was the one asked to score goals.
“I kind of took on that role this season, after we lost Jairo Borja (graduation),” said Bierfeldt. “I was more of a center midfield, more of a distributor.”
It was Bierfeldt’s maturity at a young age that gave Fritch the confidence to use him all over the field.
“He was well beyond where most freshmen are,” he said. “It didn’t take long until I knew what I had with him.”
With a new role Bierfeldt flourished just as Fritch knew he would.
“I could move him around at will and I always know what I would get,” he said. “Shane was the best option without a doubt.”
Bierfeldt responded scoring 18 goals and added 16 assists, before this season he had only scored 11 goals in his career, 10 his junior season and one during his sophomore season.
“Me and coach (Mike Fritch) talked about it before the season,” said Bierfeldt who was happy to make the switch. “I was very excited to do it.”
When Bierfeldt suited up as freshman for the 2010 season it wasn’t only his first season, it was Fritch’s first season as a head coach, taking over for his father Mike Fritch Sr., who coached the team for over 25-years before his son took over.
“He helped us get through the transition from my dad’s tenure to my tenure,” said Fritch, who named Bierfeldt a captain this season. “If he ever had an idea, he would bring it to me; he wouldn’t shy away from saying something to a teammate.”
Bierfeldt hasn’t decided on what sport he will play or where he will continue his career at the collegiate level, he also plays for the Torrington baseball team.
Wherever he goes though, he won’t forget his team as a Red Raider.
“They were awesome, the best times of my life,” Bierfeldt said. “All these guys are my best friends.”