New era, same expectations for Wellesley soccer

Photos by Mike Flanagan. Pictured during Wellesley’s 3-0 Division I South semifinal victory against No. 1 Silver Lake, Oskar Haeberlein (11) will look to be a main contributor once again for the Raiders this fall after helping lead the team to the state finals last season.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Coming off a tough 1-0 defeat to Ludlow in the state finals, the Wellesley High School soccer team returns to the pitch this fall looking to replicate their historic 2018 season that included a Division I South and Eastern Massachusetts title.

With head coach Tim Mason stepping down, the Raiders will be coached this fall by interim head man Chris DiCecca. A graduate of Colby Sawyer (’15) and a team captain during his senior season, DiCecca takes over after serving as an assistant and JV coach for Wellesley the last two years, following a stint as an assistant for rival Needham. A native of Wilmington, DiCecca says the opportunity to coach a high-level program such as Wellesley is an opportunity he and his staff look to take advantage of, especially with postseason star Oskar Haeberlein back to anchor the offense.

“The nice thing is that when you don’t have to change much, your job as a coach becomes a lot easier,” said DiCecca. “You’ve just got to add to it and adapt. I like this group we have coming back. Our approach to this season will be a good one, but it will require a lot of hard work to get to where we want to be. The coaches know what they have to do and the players are ready to buy in and do what they have to do. That’s a really important approach to have.”

Along with the addition of DiCecca, Wellesley brings on former St. John’s Prep and Stonehill keeper Adam Colella as an assistant. Also a native of Wilmington and a childhood friend of DiCecca’s, Colella’s knowledge of the game and familiarity with DiCecca’s methods have the duo excited to coach with one another at the high school level for the first time in 2019.

“The opportunity with Adam [Colella] and I is pretty special, just because of our relationship and how long we’ve known each other,” said DiCecca. “The fact that we have the opportunity to team up and coach together for the first time is cool. I’m definitely looking forward to it. Him and I go back to kindergarten playing together, playing against one another and later watching each other play in college. He knows the game very well and I always told myself if I ever get an opportunity to coach, he’s the first guy I am going to call to be an assistant. We’re looking to do big things this year. It should be a lot of fun.”

For funny and insightful sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.

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