Park Ridge Owl                                    

The Record – Boys soccer

No. 20 Park Ridge

Last year’s record: 17-7

Final ranking: No. 12

Marquee game: at Waldwick, Sept. 16

Best assets: The defending sectional champions hope to build on last year’s success with a new coach in Steve Kopelman and an experienced midfield. Jovani Nunez and Derek Zeug lead a group that has played together for years and should be able to help create opportunities for returning forward Danny DiBlasi. It could create a shift in styles from the team that rode a smothering defense to the first North 1, Group 1 sectional title in program history.

Biggest concern: The Owls lost some key players to graduation, particularly goalkeeper Joey Pigot and forwards Eric Luther and Eric DelRosso. Ryan Sweeney and Caleb and Kevin Yu all return on defense but without the strong backstop provided by Pigot, leaving a question mark in the back. Kopelman also needs to find a way to allow the team to forge its own identity separate from last season’s sectional champions with a new coach and new players in some key positions.

— Greg Schutta

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