August 24, 2007
2007 Bloomsburg Men's Soccer Preview
For Bloomsburg University menís soccer coach Paul Payne, the results of the 2006 were disappointing terms of wins and losses. But, looking beyond purely wins and losses, the Huskies were strong in every match with seven decided by just one goal.
"We played tough in every game which, to me as a coach, is very important," said Payne. "It shows we have the talent and capability to play with every team on our schedule. We just need to learn to finish out our games."
Heading into the 2007 season Payne is also optimistic because he not only returns a strong nucleus of players, he also has a very strong incoming class of freshmen, some who could see playing time right away.
"We have players like Ryan Scafiddi, Dan Beshore and Brian Farrell all returning who were key contributors to our squad last year," Payne added. "Also, sophomore Mike Jones made an immediate impact on the team and earned All-PSAC honors for his play."
Any good team needs a good goalkeeper and the Huskies have two pretty good ones in Jon Keller and Dave Leindecker. Keller at 6-4 and Leindecker at 6-5 are two of the bigger keepers in the conference and both have had plenty of big-game experience.
Defense will be the strength of the Huskies team with a solid group of players who lead by their work ethic. Beshore is multi-talented with both play-making and marking skills. Farrell and Scaffidi are the heart and soul of the Huskies and are relentless in their pursuit of the ball. Both have a "never give up" attitude. Also, look for the return of Justin McLellanan, who sat out last year due to an injury, who brings energy and an attacking force to the back line. In addition, Carl Seitz had a great spring season and is ready to step in where needed.
Freshmen defenders Tim Pfender and Tom Monagle will add depth to an already experienced back unit.
Sophomore Mike Jones moves to the midfield this season to take advantage of his attacking skills. At 6-7 he is a player who can control the game in the air. Chris Tomarelli is expected to be a presences to bolster the midfield play . Also, look for Bryan Darby to play a bigger role in the midfield both attacking and defensively. others who are projected to play a key role for the Huskies are senior John Brittingham sophomore Eric Simonds, Chris Chestnut and freshman Tom Kovack. Transfer Mike McGee can add experience after a year at Lenior-Rhyne.
The Huskies attack is an area of the team that concerns Payne. "We need to finish better," said Payne. "We need to reach the back of the net more often to be successful and are looking for some guys who can step forward and take charge out there (on the field)."
A new group of players are expected to handle the attack with some dangerous fast paced additions . Christian Rota, a D-I transfer, along with Otis Queh and Ambrose Browne will provide for an exciting dangerous trio of frontrunners. Look for freshmen Mike Siravo and Kevin Mealey also to play a role.
As Payne sees it, being able to finish the play and score will be the key for the Huskies in 2007. With more scoring he feels the team has the ability to reach the PSAC playoffs.
"I think we have a veteran group that wants to go out on top and is ready to do the work necessary to achieve that goal," Payne continued. "They will battle for every ball in every minute of every match."
"Overall, the favorites in the PSAC would once again by East Stroudsburg, West Chester and California," said Payne. "All matches, though, in the PSAC are toss-ups. It is all about who executes well on that day that determines who wins and who loses."