The Brien McMahon boys' soccer team went 3-10-3 last season, which might indicate that the team was not competitive.
But on closer look, the Senators were in a lot of close games -- including four one-goal losses -- and was a team that simply couldn't get over the hump.
Second-year coach Ben Ingalls hopes his team can heed some lessons from the frustration of last year's season, when a few goals here and there could have made the difference in a winning season.
"We were young last year," he said. "We lost a lot of one-goal games. Just couldn't finish. I think we've got some goal-scorers this year who can put the ball in the back of the net, which I think will be the difference between a losing season and a winning season."
Like many soccer teams in the FCIAC, McMahon had its ranks thinned by the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, a travel squad that attracts top players. Niko Petridis, who started as a freshman last year, was McMahon's lone defector, but he was a key cog in the Senators' offense.
Kelvin Medina, a new sweeper, also will be a factor, as will newcomer Ariben Cordova, a forward.
Roberto Vargas returns as goalkeeper for McMahon.
"We lost a couple seniors, but not too many," Ingalls said. "These guys have been playing together for a little bit longer, so hopefully it will show on the field."
Ingalls said he likes his team's chances in the FCIAC this year.
"It's still a very competitive conference," he said. "Hopefully we'll be middle of the pack. If we're front of the pack, it'll be a great season."