2019-20 Season Preview: West Haven
West Haven Blue Devils
2018-19 Record: 10-10
Tournament Result: As 9-seed lost in Division I First Round to 8-seed Xavier 9-1
Head Coach: Steve Harris (1st season)
Key Returning Players: Kevin Moriarty (F, Sr.), Sean Dupre (F, Sr.), Kaden Morgillo (F, Sr.), DJ Carfora (F, So.), Rob Forleo (D, Sr.), Nick Carfora (D, Sr.), Colin Hines (D, Sr.), Richie Greene (F/D, Sr.), Jared Pliszka (G, Sr.)
Impact Newcomers: Ben Carfora (F, Fr.), Zach Forbes (Fr.), Kevin Gardner (Fr.)
Goalie Situation: Senior Jared Pliszka sort of unexpectedly burst onto the scene last year and ended up playing 825 of 910 minutes in net for the Blue Devils. He posted an impressive 2.62 GAA with .910 save percentage. Look for him to have a big senior season and fortify West Haven’s defense. Junior Charlie Miller is waiting in the wings but it would take a lot, if it were up to me, to dethrone Pliszka.
Key Losses: Niko Kyle (graduation)
Outlook: West Haven vs. Everybody is the mantra. A group left for dead, urged to move down to Division II keeps on keeping on. The one thing that changes this year is that Joe Morrell has stepped down. After 21 gentlemanly years, one of the realest, kindest guys around won’t be patrolling the West Haven bench. West Haven has brought on Steve Harris formerly of Hamden Hall and all early accounts on him, he seems like a great dude as well who seems to have a good feel on the group that he’s inheriting. Personnel wise, losing Niko Kyle sucks because he represented the team and the town very well for years, not to mention he was the only player with a positive +/- last year, but the Westies do bring back a lot of talent this year. Pliszka is an accomplished goalie who was really, really good for the Westies last year. Up front seniors Kevin Moriarty (13 goals, 13 assists) and Kaden Morgillo (14 goals, 10 assists) will lead the Westie charge. Look for sophomore DJ Carfora (2 goals, 15 assists) to have a big year offensively as well. On D, West Haven possesses some of the better offensive defensemen in the state. I’m excited to see what senior Robbie Forleo (4 goals, 12 assists) can accomplish this year. Also look for seniors Nick Carfora and Colin Hines to have a nice year on the blue line and senior utility guy Richie Greene (6 goals, 12 assists) is one to watch as well. I think West Haven has a winning season. Will it translate to being a title contender? That’s tough to say, especially with the talent coming out of the other locker room at Bennett. But these boys don’t back down from a fight. Should be a fun first season for Harris.