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Soccer returns to St. Edmund’s Prep

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Soccer is back at St. Edmund’s Prep.

For the past two years, the school hasn’t had a boys’ team, not fielding enough players two years ago and penalized the following autumn.

This season, Chris Fugelsang, who played soccer at St. Edmund’s Prep High School during the mid to late ‘90’s, became the new coach. He also inherited one senior who was a freshman member of the squad four years ago – senior Louis Zabbatino.

St. Edmund’s, in its first year of being re-instated into the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association, competes in the ‘B’ Division. After they play a regular schedule among the teams from the Diocese of Brooklyn, which includes schools from Queens, they compete in division playoffs, with the winner advancing into the city-wide playoffs to determine a “B’ champion.

The goal of the 20 boys who comprise the roster is just to post a successful season.

“Our goal is to put the best team on the field,” the 27-year-old Fugelsang said. “I want to be as fair as I can. We’re excited that St. Edmund’s soccer is back in the league.

“There’s different levels of winning and different levels of success. Being able to get some wins and to rebuild is a huge success in itself.”

Since the middle of August, the students have played, gotten in shape, and worked out, and the team has seen some progress.

“They were very motivated to get better,” Fugelsang added. “There definitely has been some progress. We have both strong and developing players. We’re young.”

The boys have a great deal of talent and just have to put it together,

Of course defenseman Zabbatino heads the roster.

“He’s excited about coming back,” Fugelsang said. “He shows that he’s a leader on this team and helps some of the younger guys. He has a lot of experience and makes sure the team is a success. He puts a lot into it [the sport], comes to practice and steps up.”

Freshmen Dave Mattioli and Joe Cassar both play goalie and will share the position.

“Sometimes goalies are hard to find,” said the coach one day before practice at Marine Park. “They are young, fit into that spot as goalkeepers, learn a whole lot and at the same time bring a whole lot to the table.”

One of the scorers could include sophomore forward Seung Lee.

“He is very quick and reacts fast on the ball,” Fugelsang added. “I think he might be one of our solid players. But it’s really too early to tell. We haven’t played a game yet.”

The team is in a rebuilding stage and is trying to compete in the league. The coach feels that the boys can. But, like any coach at this time of season which is really early, would say said, ‘It’s too early to tell.”

During the off season, some of the players stayed in shape and competed in formal leagues.

Fugelsang’s experience includes competing in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League with Gjoa, a Norwegian team in Bay Ridge, and playing at St. Edmund’s, where he was a member of its first ever team.

Playing center-forward, the native of Sunset Park scored the first ever goal for his high school.

After graduating from St. Edmund’s, he went on and but did not play soccer at St. Anslem’s College, in New Hampshire. He is now a special education eighth grade teacher at IS 62 here in Brooklyn.

“I feel that I have a passion for the game and try to bring that to these guys,” he said. “I want them to learn soccer as much as they can because it’s really a beautiful game.”

Home games are set for Marine Park or Gerritsen Beach Park.

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