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Boys Soccer Player Of The Year: Cooper Knecht, E.O. Smith

COOPER KNECHT

E.O. SMITH

CLASS: Senior

POSITION: Forward

COACH: John Blomstrann

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Senior captain, four-year varsity player. … Recorded 46 goals and 13 assists, setting a school record with 104 goals for his high school career while finishing a goal shy of the school’s single-season record of 47. … Led his team to an 18-1 record, advancing to the Class L semifinals for the second consecutive year. … Helped E.O. Smith beat Class LL champion Glastonbury and Class LL semifinalist Farmington during the regular season. … Scored in 17 games, including six games with three or more goals.

KNECHT SAID: “This year was a lot better because I grew physically, but my style of play changed, and I could do more of what I wanted to do. I put away the chances I got, but if I didn’t have the guys to feed me, I wouldn’t be able to score. The center midfield and our back line are phenomenal…I knew this year we had a special chemistry. Last year we were really tight but this year it seemed like we were on a whole new level, it seemed like a special team from the beginning and we knew we could do a lot…I don’t think [my high school career] could’ve gone any better, I couldn’t have pictured it any differently, everything I wanted actually happened.”

BLOMSTRANN SAID: “As soon as he came in as a freshman, just in preseason practice, we could see he could score. So it wasn’t difficult to place him on the field. Ever since his freshman year he’s been one of the forwards. … It has been even more than a steady progression, this year in particular was almost like a quantum leap. You could tell he really worked on his game.”

UP NEXT: Has committed to play soccer at Fairfield University, where he hasn’t yet decided on a major but plans to attend the school of business.

IN 10 YEARS: “My goal is to go pro [in soccer], but if that doesn’t work out, I’m interested in coaching at the college level. I’d like to stay around the game as much as I can. I’ve also thought about becoming a lawyer or going into the health field.”

MISCELLANEOUS: Two-year FSA Football Club player, advanced with team to last year’s Disney Showcase semifinals in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. … Played basketball up until his junior year, and baseball prior to high school. … Favorite TV show is “The Office,” followed closely by “Friends.”

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