HARVARD -- For legendary Bromfield boys' soccer head coach Tom Hill, few players meet all the attributes he desires in his players. Hill's two senior captains, Ben L'Ecuyer and Ezra Kraus embody all it means to be a Bromfield Trojan.
"Both Ezra and Ben always played within the rules," Hill said. "Ben played physical, but very clean. The Fitchburg coach said 'I don't care if that guy scores 10 goals against us.' He is a classy guy and a great player. Those two guys, along with Ryan Kennedy, are some of the best captains we've had. "
Kraus and L'Ecuyer's comraderie does not stop once the high school season comes to a close -- the pair both play on FC Stars, an elite club team based out of Lancaster. The dynamic duo seems to know where each other is at all times on the pitch which leads to numerous scoring opportunities. The south paw, L'Ecuyer, netted a team-high 19 goals and 13 assists.
Kraus wasn't too far behind his teammate with 13 goals and 15 assists. Kraus, despite his smaller stature at around five-foot-eight, still has the ability to head the ball against much taller competition.
"Ezra has shown steady since his first goal sophomore year," Hill said. "Ezra can fire it up from the outside, but at the end of the year, he was getting around people and scoring us goals that way. This year he was really really our second best player. Ezra makes up for what he doesn't have in size in intelligence and determination."
L'Ecuyer came into the Bromfield program as a forward, but last year due to a void at sweeper, he shifted back to defense. L'Ecuyer is naturally a forward, but his versatility proved beneficial to Bromfield.
"It is tough to knock Ben off the ball," Hill said. "He pretty much goes to his left foot, but he has worked on his right foot quite a bit. Once he got by somebody, there is a good chance he was going to score. If we went against size, Ben was the guy who we would go to in the corners."
In Bromfield's match at Groton-Dunstable late in the season, the father of one of the Crusaders' players approached Tom Hill and asked him, "Hey, how's the Ben and Ezra show?"
"They can be tough when they need to be, but they are two really, really great kids," he said. "I kind of think of them together. They are both team players who got back and played defense. We started Fitchburg up 2-0 -- Ezra wasn't playing. He was so upset about how we were playing that he came in and scored two goals in the second half in nine minutes. They're both great kids."
L'Ecuyer was named the MVP of Mid-Wach C at the end of the season meeting. Kraus was also named to the league all-star team for his efforts.
Kraus and L'Ecuyer helped lead the Trojans to the Division 4 Central Mass. Finals game where they fell 2-1 to arch-rival, Sutton.
"They are both very intelligent team players," he said. "They worked so well together and fed off each other. We were a close knit group in large part to these two great guys. Those two guys kind of took it hard (losing the championship) -- they've got the kind of personalities, win-or-lose, they would be the same."
L'Ecuyer will continue his soccer career at Worcester Academy for one year before enrolling in college.
Kraus, according to Hill, has yet to make a decision as to where he will attend college in the fall.