Ashland wants another title shot

17 years ago

With 80 percent of their offense returning, and a revamped defense whose players are quickly learning their new roles, the Ashland Hornets seem primed for another successful soccer season.     Last year, the Hornets lost only once in the regular season, went into the EM Class D playoffs as the No. 1 seed, and advanced all the way to the regional finals, where they were beaten by eventual state champion Van Buren, 1-0. The Hornets lost six starters from last year’s squad to graduation, including the entire defense and the starting goalie, but fifth-year coach Kevin Paradis is confident his squad will be up to the challenge.
“We have many new faces starting, but our style should be very similar to last year,” Paradis said, noting last year’s team held a 68-19 advantage over its opponents in goals scored.
The starting forwards are juniors Carl Nemer and Jacob Paradis along with senior Tyler Cote. The midfielders include senior Ryan Carney, junior Jeremy Tarr and freshman Kenny Tarr. The goalkeeper is senior Lucas Belanger, with sophomore Casey Cobb playing sweeper, and the defensive line including freshman Thomas Long, senior Nick Gimbel and junior Tony Baker.
The Hornets should be deep, with 13 substitutes to call upon. Juniors John Casey, John Robinson and Stephen Philbrick; sophomores Kyle Spooner, Andrew Libby, Taylor Condon, Lucas Hafford and Andy Pelkey; and freshmen Bobby Gardiner, Myles Bolstridge, Brandon Saucier, Jordan Beaulier and Keith Holmes are Ashland’s reserves.
Conner McFarland serves as the team’s manager, while Lendell Tarr is the Hornets’ assistant coach.
“The keys for us are playing consistent defense, and my players must continue to be unselfish, plus we need to stay healthy,” said Paradis.
Ashland beat Wisdom in its opener last Tuesday, 8-2, behind a two-goal, four-assist performance by Nemer. Jeremy Tarr also had a a pair of goals for the Hornets, who took on Easton yesterday.