HONESDALE — Geoff Fowler is pleased with the performance of his team this fall.
Although Honesdale's boys soccer coach isn't exactly overjoyed with an overall record of 4-8-1, he is quick to point out that wins and losses aren't the sole measure of success.
"We certainly improved as a team from the start of the season until the end," Coach Fowler told TWI Sports. "We obviously still have some issues when it comes to scoring, but I think we're well on the way to addressing them."
Honesdale competed in a newly-realigned Lackawanna League this season. The Hornets went head-to head with longtime rivals Western Wayne and North Pocono, along with big school powers Delaware Valley and Wallenpaupack Area.
"The competition was very good this year," Coach Fowler said. "All you have to do is look and see how far Mountain View and DV got in the PIAA state playoffs. That gives you a pretty good sense at the level of competition you face week-in and week-out in the Lackawanna League."
The Red & Black started slowly, but did rally to earn a spot in the District Two playoffs.
Sadly for Maple City soccer fans, the Hornets traveled to Lake Lehman and suffered a 3-1 loss to the Black Knights.
"I think it was a good experience," Coach Fowler said. "It's something we can build on for next year. We only lose five seniors to graduation, so we'll have a nice nucleus coming back."
Dylan Robbins, Joe Casazza, Reed Hartley, Jon Robbins and Vinny Molling played the final games of their high school career. All contributed mightily to the program and each will be missed.
"They did a really nice job insofar as leadership goes," Coach Fowler said. "Dylan, Joe and Vinny were excellent captains, but all five of them set very good examples for our younger players."
Page 2 of 2 - Despite a sub-.500 finish and an early exit from the district tourney, Honesdale was still honored with four berths on the Lackawanna League Division Two All Star Team.
Joe Casazza and Dylan Robbins received First Team nods, while Gus Reynolds and David Kirk made the Second Team.
Casazza is a senior captain and a fixture as the Hornets' defensive middie. Joe teamed up with his younger brother Nick to terrorize enemy attackers this fall.
"We called it the Casazza Squash," Coach Fowler said with a laugh. "Those two stopped everything that came down the middle of the field. Joe was a huge part of our team. He's very dedicated to the sport and a very smart player."
Robbins patrolled the Red & Black midfield and earned rave reviews for tenacity and toughness.
"The early part of Dylan's career was plagued with injuries," Coach Fowler said. "But, Dylan fought through them and became a heck of a player. He has an excellent skill set and he's very intelligent. I think that Dylan could compete at the next level."
Reynolds and Kirk are both juniors and should be the foundation upon which Honesdale builds its 2013 squad.
Gus sees the majority of his minutes in the midfield. Soccer is a year-round pursuit for Reynolds and he is one of the the Hornets' most polished players.
"Gus has a fantastic set of skills," Coach Fowler said. "He's relentless on the field and has an outstanding work ethic."
Kirk enjoyed a stellar season for Honesdale. The junior moved from the back line to forward this year and evolved into the 2012 varsity MVP.
"David just has so many tools," Coach Fowler said. "He's a very physical and aggressive player. David is our #1 option on set plays and he's deadly from 20 yards and out."