It’s opening day for the North Branford boys’ soccer team as the T-Birds travel to Morgan’s Indian River Complex for a 3:45 p.m. game against their Shoreline Conference foes. Luke Gagliardi, who is in his second full season after a varsity coach after taking over halfway through the 2010 campaign, is aiming for improvement and fun in 2012.
“Our goals are to improve on our record from last year, improve team play and improve individual skill,” said Gagliardi, who is assisted by Brett Gagliardi and Mike Nuzzolillo. “We also want to enjoy playing.”
Alex Raffone, Dan Reilly and Kevin Juhasz, who is the team’s starting goalkeeper, will captain the squad.
“Alex brings speed and athleticism and is one of our best offensive threats and a leader by example,” said Gagliardi. “Dan Reilly is our smartest soccer player and has the best sense of the game. He is also the most vocal captain with great with on-field organization. Kevin Juhasz brings height and athleticism and is a great role model for our younger players.”
In addition to the captains, Gagliardi is looking to other key returning players including seniors Jordan Bognar, Nik Costaldi, Dylan Podbielski and Nick Fragola, along with sophomore Andrew Sarmento.
Looking ahead at the season’s schedule, some big games include the Oct. 1 home contest against Cromwell (3:45 p.m.) and hosting Westbrook under the lights on Oct. 17 (6:30 p.m.).
Here’s a look at the full schedule for the season, courtesy of the CIAC.DateOpponentH/A-FacilityTime/ResultNote Wed., 9/12 Morgan Away - Indian River Complex
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Non-Seeding Fri., 9/14 East Hampton Away - East Hampton High School Main Field
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Tue., 9/18 Hale Ray Away - Hale-Ray HS, Nevers Field
[Directions] 6:30 p.m. Thu., 9/20 Valley Regional Home - North Branford High School
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Tue., 9/25 Morgan Home - North Branford High School
[Directions] 6:30 p.m. Thu., 9/27 Haddam-Killingworth Away - Haddam Killingworth HS
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Mon., 10/1 Cromwell Home - North Branford High School
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Wed., 10/3 Old Lyme Away - Old Lyme High School
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Mon., 10/8 Old Saybrook Home - North Branford High School
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Wed., 10/10 Coginchaug Away - Coginchaug Regional High School
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Thu., 10/11 Sheehan Home - North Branford High School
[Directions] 6:30 p.m. Non-League Mon., 10/15 Portland Away - Portland High School
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Wed., 10/17 Westbrook Home - North Branford High School
[Directions] 6:30 p.m. Mon., 10/22 Coginchaug Home - North Branford High School
[Directions] 3:45 p.m. Non-Seeding Wed., 10/24 Haddam-Killingworth Home - North Branford High School
[Directions] 6:30 p.m. Non-Seeding Thu., 10/25 Windham Away - WHS Ferrigno Field
[Directions] 4:00 p.m. Non-League