After a disappointing 2014 campaign, coach Chad Gfeller and the North Greenville University Men's Soccer team look to rebound and regroup for the upcoming 2015 season.
"Although we had a tough season last year, we grew together because of the experience," said Gfeller when asked about how the team would respond from the previous season, "Over half our team was freshmen last year, so the experience we gained will be valuable in turning the tide this season." The team has made a massive effort in regrouping by bringing in 13 new players for the prospective season.
The Crusaders look to improve on their goalkeeping and defense, a weak spot of the team last season. NGU has brought in freshman goalkeeper, Mateo Barzola, a standout keeper in the Argentinian youth ranks, and two substitute goalkeepers, junior James Max Miller and sophomore James Lee to increase the depth in between the goalposts. The Crusaders have also brought in six new defenders to improve the backline. Freshmen Jake Quinn and Marlon Evans look to produce instantly. While newcomers Jacob Allen, Hunter Clark, Sam Roberson, and Sjors Van Eck are expected to provide some much needed help in the defense.
Crusaders have brought in three new midfielders to join the existing Brazilian trifecta. Casey Brady, Denver Monteith, and Joe Severs come into the team with vast levels of experience and competitive drive. These three newcomers will be called upon to use their experience and drive to help control the pace and join the defense and offense.
NGU looks to add experience and talent in 4 exciting freshman talents, Andre Cakar, Cade Chewning, Nathan Hubbard and Cameron Ward. Cakar, who can provide intelligent runs and excellent finishing abilities, will especially be called upon to provide a spark to the offense.
When asked about any other players expected to make an impact, Coach Gfeller had this to say, "Along with some strong new additions to the team, we see Doug Cordi and Shomari Bridgewater giving our team good leadership. Victor Labi will also play an important role in connecting us through the midfield. Returners Vítor Tarpinian, Jonny Lind and redshirt Murilo Materagia give us dynamic attackers that make us dangerous in attack."
The Crusaders open up the new season, which holds 15 in-conference games as well as matches against Lander University and Newberry College, against Brevard College on September 3 at 7 p.m.