SEASON PREVIEW: Youth Infused Lions Ready To Go
The young 2012 men's soccer squad is ready to challenge for another WCC title.
Aug. 22, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The 2012 LMU men's soccer season will offer fans a variety of new faces to get familiar with as the 31-member squad features three seniors, four juniors, 12 sophomore and 12 freshmen. But regardless of youth, Head Coach Paul Krumpe, in his 15th season at the helm of the Lion program, says the goal never changes.
"We want to win the WCC," said Krumpe of the expectations set year in and year out. "We were there two years ago, we were right in the mix of it with two games left last year and this year we've got a freshmen group I'm very impressed with. They remind me a lot of the senior group that just left us and we were starting nine of them as freshmen. I don't think we'll start nine freshmen this year, but these guys are going to get significant minutes."
Leading the returning core are a pair of sophomore who were named to the 2011 West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team - outside midfielder John McFarlin and forward Dylan Seedman. McFarlin, who was also an All-WCC Honorable Mention selection, contributed one goal - a game-winner - and three assists on the year. Seedman trailed only seniors Artur Jozkowicz and Phil Da Silva in total points, tallying three goals, including one game-winner, and one assist as a rookie.
While McFarlin and Seedman will be key to leading the Lions' attack this fall, co-captains Mitch Boland and Craig Nitti will anchor the back line. Boland, a senior, started all 17 games he appeared in last season, contributing to the team's four shutouts and also scoring one game-winning goal. Nitti, a sophomore, also scored one game-winning goal in 2011, while starting in nine of his 19 appearances.
New faces expected to make an immediate impact the LMU lineup include Luc Brubaker and Akio Ohtake-Gordon on the outside midfield and Connor Gill and Michael Meissner in the front line. Pedro Velazquez is also expected to be key in the central midfield, though he is currently sidelined due to an arm injury.
The Lions open the season with a six-game, non-conference homestand. First to visit Sullivan Field is Big West member UC Santa Barbara, which comes in ranked as high as No. 4 in preseason national polls. That season-opening kick off is Sunday, Aug 26 at 3 p.m.