Published September 4, 2019
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
LYNNFIELD — Brent Munroe is back for his 19th year as the head coach of the Lynnfield High boys’ soccer team this season.
Last fall, the Pioneers reached the Division 3 North final where they lost to Wayland 3-1 to end up at 16-3-2 overall. In the Cape Ann League, they went 14-2-2 and came in second place in the CAL Kinney division behind Masconomet.
Seven seniors graduated from that squad including Jonathan Luders who was named the CAL Player of the Year as he led the team in points with 35 (14 goals and 21 assists).
The Pioneers also lost CAL First-Team All-Star Nathan Bass and CAL Second-Team All-Star Dave Gentile.
When training camp opened on Aug. 22, Munroe welcomed back seven veterans from last year.
Four of those players are this year’s senior captains: Tom Hauser (midfielder), Tom Buston (striker), Alejandro Lynch (defenseman) and Matt Juliano (defenseman).
Hauser, the team’s top returning scorer, was a CAL Second-Team All-Star last year as he had 14 points with 10 goals and four assists.
The other starter back is defenseman Luke Martinho.
The two other players back from last fall are Jack Bird and Dante Gesmando. Bird is a midfielder while Gesmando is a goalie.
Five players who were on the Pioneers’ junior varsity team last year made the jump to varsity this year. Those five are Jack Zelvan (junior, defenseman), David Picarello (junior, defenseman), Jack Mallet (sophomore, midfielder), Fadi Dahib (senior, striker) and Lars Rucker (sophomore, midfielder).
Gesmando will be the new starting goalie this fall taking over for the graduated Jack Campbell.
The Pioneers have scrimmaged Wilmington and hosed a Jamboree as they played some mini-games against Reading, St. John’s Prep, and Marblehead.
“We have a good group and some strong young players,” said Munroe, about the preseason. “We have five freshmen who made the team and they will, eventually, have an impact.”
The top goal this season is to make the states again, something that has happened in 15 of the 18 years Munroe had been the head coach. The last team to not qualify was back in 2015.
On Wednesday, Sept. 4, the Pioneers open the season with a tough test as they are at Masconomet at 3:45 p.m. The home opener is on Friday as they take on North Reading at 3:45 p.m.
On Sept. 10, they visit Triton at 3:45 p.m.