, Salem, MA


October 3, 2012

Just for Kicks: St. John’s Prep off to fast start

When St. John’s Prep head soccer coach Dave Crowell realized his senior captain and starting keeper, Brian Keogh, would be out of the lineup for the entire 2012 season with an ankle injury, he didn’t panic. Instead, the starting position went to Ben Alpern

and thus far the Beverly native has posted six shutouts.

Other players on the team have seen a few minutes here and there, but for the most part Alpern has been the main guy in net as the Eagles have given up just three goals through the first half of the season.

At 7-1 overall and undefeated in the Catholic Conference (4-0), the Prep is getting it done with numerous contributions from all over the field.

“Part of it is that we have great players,” said Crowell. “But our program is also a winning one. Winning breeds winning. The kids want to keep that winning going.

“This year’s team has come in focused from the start. They see the results we’ve gotten and they take it extremely serious.”

The Prep’s well balanced scoring attack has other teams scratching their heads. Very few teams are able to mark a specific goal scorer, which has allowed the Eagles to outscore their opponents 30-3 through eight games. And it’s not just the forward line recording the goals. It starts in the front and works its way through the middle, with seven players already having multiple goals.

“Our success comes from all over the field,” Crowell said. “It’s not just our backfield preventing goals, we’re really limiting other teams having possession. When we build any attack to a goal, it’s our midfield and strikers, which has also led to our defensive success.”

In their first loss of the season to Weymouth on Saturday, senior captain

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