Men's Soccer Beginning 2014 With High Expectations
Tigerville, SC - The 2014 North Greenville University men’s soccer season kicks off in a little under two weeks and the team goes into the 2014 season with the task of replacing key players all over the field.
The defense will see major turnover after losing right back Wil Pickle, center back Alex Redding and two time Conference Carolina’s All-Conference third team center back Ian Murray to graduation.
The men’s team is also losing key members in the attack as winger Ben Montry and forward/winger Todd Johnston have seen their college careers come to an end. Montry and Johnston accounted for one-third of NGU’s offense last year tallying 10 of NGU’s 30 goals and tallying 24 of the teams 77 points in total. The team went into last year with high expectations but injuries and suspensions hurt the Crusaders and they failed to find consistency throughout the year.
But a new season brings new hope and new expectations. The Crusaders will lean on Juniors Doug Cordi and Shomari Bridgewater to hold down the center of defense and captain the team, while sophomore DJ Baker solidified his place as the teams number one keeper.
The offense will look to juniors Ara Zadoorian and Thales Wieczorek along with sophomore Jonny Lind to spearhead the attack. Zadoorian, Wieczorek and Lind accounted for nine goals and eight assists between them last season. The Crusaders also welcome 21 new players as Coach Chad Gfeller looks to boost his squad and add depth ahead of the new season.
After making the conference tournament in 2012 the Crusaders missed out on the conference tournament in 2013 and Bridgewater believes getting back into the tournament is the objective,
“Our main goal is to get back to the conference tournament," Bridgewater said. "There are two new teams this year so it will be hard but it is attainable.”
The Crusaders, ranked 9th in the Conference Carolinas Pre-Season poll, will have a new field on which to pursue their goals. NGU is renovating the field and putting down a new turf field that will be used by both men’s and women’s soccer as well as JV soccer and men’s and women’s lacrosse.
The team will look to get off to a good start to their new season as they open September 4, at Brevard College in Brevard, NC followed by their home opener September 11, against Lander University. A new field, new faces and a new season bring new expectations for the Crusaders as they look to get back to the conference tournament.