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Rams Stay Undefeated with Two Victories
Sophomore Kevin DeCapua netted both of Old Saybrook’s goals when the Rams claimed a 2-1 victory against Portland on Oct. 5. The Rams went on to defeat Westbrook to improve to 8-0-1 this season. (File photo by Wesley Bunnell/Harbor News)
On the heels of a strong 2020 season, Head Coach Steve Waters and the Old Saybrook boys’ soccer team are off to another terrific start this year. The Rams have yet to lose a game through their first nine contests and are currently sporting an overall record of 8-0-1 on the campaign.
Old Saybrook kept good times rolling by winning both of its matchups last week. The Rams defeated Portland Westbrook to stay undefeated thus far this fall.
“We’ve got some good team synergy, and everyone’s efforts are toward the common goal of winning a conference and state championship,” Coach Waters said. “We want to do the little things right during the games, which will lead to us executing overall and coming away with wins.”
Old Saybrook came away with convincing victories in its two most-recent games. On Oct. 5, the Rams hosted Portland and edged out the Highlanders by a 2-1 final. Sophomore striker Kevin DeCapua scored both of Old Saybrook’s goals during the first half to spur the Rams to the win. Senior goalkeeper Ryan Slisz stopped eight shots for Coach Waters’s squad.
“Ryan was incredible for us in our win against Portland. He made three game-saving stops and was near perfect all game,” said Waters of Old Saybrook’s netminder. “He’s been one of our best players all season long, and Ryan is someone we can consistently depend on to lead us to victory.”
Three days later, Old Saybrook played a road game versus Westbrook recorded a 5-0 shutout. Junior captain striker Cam DeAngelo scored three of the Rams’ five goals on the day. DeCapua and junior captain Bradley Kulmann netted the other two goals for Old Saybrook. Slisz stopped two shots in the victory.
“I felt like we had a really strong game against Westbrook. We were able to move the ball very well, which created a lot of opportunities for us,” Coach Waters said. “One thing we’ve been working on this season is finishing our chances in front of goal. We have no problem generating offense. It’s just a matter of finishing.”
Old Saybrook is being led by four captains this season. The Rams’ captains are seniors Nick Scalzo and Nick Rothman, along with the junior duo of DeAngelo and Kulmann.
“I don’t typically like having four captains on the team, but these guys all deserve it,” said Waters. “They are a good blend of talent and heart, and they’ve all made great contributions to the team this year.”
Old Saybrook’s senior class also features Junior Calle Peralta. The Rams’ junior corps additionally includes Michael Kapij, Noah Skiles, Jack Forrestt, Aidan Gilson, and Ryan Stratton. The sophomores on the squad are DeCapua, Brayden Cody, and Lucas Webb.
One of Coach Waters’s favorite moments from the season to date came in Old Saybrook’s very first game of the year, when the Rams claimed a 2-0 victory against East Hampton. That game marked the 566th victory of Waters’s career, moving him into the top spot all-time for wins by a boys’ soccer coach in the state of Connecticut. Coach Waters surpassed John Bloomstrann, who coached at E.O. Smith.
“That was a really special moment for me. I’ve been coaching for close to 40 years now, and it was exciting to move into the No. 1 spot all-time,” Waters said. “But all the credit goes to the kids. Without them, none of this is possible.”
Old Saybrook has qualified for the Class S State Tournament is on the verge of a berth in the Shoreline Conference Tournament. While he’s happy with how his team is playing, Coach Waters wants to Rams to get a few things squared away as the playoffs approach.
“We’re working on tightening some things up as we get closer to postseason play,” said Waters. “We’ve already qualified for states, and we’re one win away from qualifying for our conference tournament. The top six teams in our conference qualify, and we are looking to secure a bye by qualifying as the No. 1 or 2 seed.”
In addition to making some noise in Shorelines, Coach Waters is looking for Old Saybrook go on a run in the state bracket. Waters was an assistant coach for the Rams when they claimed the Class S state title in 2019.
“We’re playing well enough where we are winning a lot of games. We have a tough stretch of games coming up during the regular season, but I know this team is capable of accomplishing big things,” Waters said. “We just need to keep working hard.”