NEW BERLIN - Despite falling short in sectionals, the UV/GMU Storm boys soccer team still had an impressive 2022 season with many end of season accolades.
As a team, the Storm finished 6-9-1 and achieved beginning of the season goals with making sectionals. They also felt like a well-balanced team with a vast amount of under and upperclassmen who all contributed and played.
Coach Josh Burchill, who was named 2022’s MAC Coach of the year, considered this season to be a success. The team’s goals were to make sectionals and be able to compete with the top three schools in the MAC league (Afton-Harpursville, Greene, and Bainbridge-Guilford), which they did. UV/GMU ended up losing one-goal games to each team but came out with a homecoming win against Greene.
“I would rate our season as a success for those reasons along with the fact that we turned the season around mid-year with a formation change which allowed us to play to our personnel better,” he said. “ I’m very happy with the direction the program is heading which starts at the youth levels and moves to modified as well. We’re seeing improved participation across levels and kids starting to participate in club soccer which only helps build a successful program.”
This season, the team depended highly on its five seniors as Trason Murray led the team with 14 goals and three assists. Fellow senior Owen Hill and sophomore Haywood Edwards both scored seven goals. Trent Marinelli also made his team and even himself proud of scoring a goal as he usually helps out on defense, along with Corbin Demmon who scored a goal on Senior Night.
For Burchill, he knows these five seniors will be hard to replace. He also leaves feedback about all five as a team player.
“This will be a class that is hard to replace. We’re losing players at all levels of the field striker, midfield, and defense. Trent Marinelli has been an anchor and steadying presence for us defensively. Owen Hill was a consistent playmaker for us in the middle of the field both offensively and defensively. Both players' leadership on and off the field will be hard to replace,” he said.
“Trason Murray has been a goal scoring presence for our team the last two years, his speed and ability to find the back of the net will be missed and something that we will need to get creative to replace. Dakota Johnson was asked to play many roles but his growth as a player over the last two seasons was remarkable. He really settled into a good left back who was able to jump into the attack as well.”
“Corbin Demmon was a great kid who came and worked hard every day. He was able to get a goal this season, which was awesome. I will certainly miss his sense of humor and hard work in practice.”
While the group of seniors will be tough to replace, the Storm aim to continue to be strong contenders with many experienced players set to return, which includes goalie Tucker Cattanach. Cattanach, who will be a senior next season, made 95 saves this year with an average of six saves per game and earned four shutouts in 16 games.
Burchill looks to count on him as well as the rest of the experienced players next year and for years to come.
“ We should have a good balance of experience next year. We will be looking to the sophomore class to fill some vacancies in the starting lineup which I believe we do have,” Burchill said. “Many got some valuable experience on the varsity team as Freshman and others earned a lot of playing time on the modified team. Both experiences were good and appropriate for the players.”
Burchill also knows opponents will return stronger too.
“We know the other teams also return a lot of strong players and the level of competition across the MAC is only improving. The offseason commitment to themselves and the game will be huge in the growth of the program and the players as individuals,” he said. “We’re always talking about trying to get better as individuals and players. My goal is to create great young men off the field first and then the on field stuff tends to take care of itself.”
Burchill looks forward to the 2023 season while his team will work hard in the offseason to only get stronger. Burchill also applauds the following players who received awards and honors at the end of the season.
MAC All-Star Honors:
MAC 1st Team – Trent Marinelli, Trason Murray, Owen Hill
MAC 2nd Team – Haywood Edwards
Honorable Mention – Devon Hartwell, Tucker Cattanach, Connor Edgett
MAC Coach of the Year – Josh Burchill
Offensive MVP – Trason Murray
Defensive MVP – Trent Marinelli
Most Improved – Devon Hartwell
Unsung Hero “Tater Time” Award – Connor Edgett