JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 15, 2009) - The ETSU men's soccer team opened fall camp Saturday as head coach Scott Calabrese and his coaching staff welcomed 22 student-athletes to campus as they get their preparations underway for the season opener against Wofford on Sept. 1.
"The first day of training was very encouraging," Calabrese said. "The players have come in fit and motivated. The returning players worked very hard in the spring, and have improved remarkably over the year."
The squad went through its first practice at 8 a.m. and will continue two-a-days for the next two weeks. The Bucs will play an exhibition match on the road at
"The new players have performed well in the initial session, and I am looking forward to seeing them become fully integrated into our team," said Calabrese. "It's a new year and a new team, and the standard has improved as have our expectations."
Season Preview -
Coming off a strong inaugural season that saw the Bucs finish 6-10-1, head coach Scott Calabrese can't wait to get on the field for the 2009 season. The men's soccer team defeated many seasoned Division I teams in 2008 including victories over Wofford, VMI, Elon, High Point, USC Upstate and Radford. As a team, the players gained experience that was crucial to the development of the program. The inaugural season brought the Buccaneers both victories and heartbreaking losses, but win or lose they were competitive in every game. This year the team looks to improve upon their Atlantic Sun record and make its first postseason appearance in only the program's second year.
This season, the men's soccer program returns a group of talented young players to the field. Of the 11 starters from last season nine were freshmen. Their experience and character have established a strong foundation for the programs future. After having seen the players mature and develop over the past year, the coaching staff is pleased to see the improvement of the players coming into the season. The Buccaneers will also introduce an impressive 2009 recruiting class. Calabrese expects that the incoming players will make an immediate impact on the team and challenge for starting spots right away.
James Holt had an impressive freshman campaign as he was named to the 2008 Atlantic-Sun All-Freshman Team and Team MVP. Holt has tremendous physical attributes that make him a player with a promising future. Scott Rosman joins the ETSU squad as a transfer from Clemson. As a 5th year senior, Rosman brings tremendous experience and leadership to the Bucs. While at Clemson, Rosman competed at the highest level of college soccer, participating in both the Final Four and Final 16 at the NCAA Tournament.
In 2008, ETSU had solid performances in the back from Conrad McCue, Jaron Westbrook, Matt Reed, Blake Pelton and Mohsen Pourmorteza. All are expected to continue to compete for playing time in 2009. Andrew Brown's move to the outside back position promises to make the Bucs dangerous attacking out of the back. The addition of
The Bucs return a very talented midfield group in Sean Hoek, Tony Nunes, Tyler Hoek, and Tim Nixon. The Hoek brothers, Nunes and Nixon should all compete for starting roles this fall led by Sean Hoek. Hoek was a 2008 Atlantic-Sun All-freshmen selection, and his ability to work from box to box makes him a catalyst in the midfield. Nunes has proven to be the Buccaneer's steadiest player and has the vision and an ability to dictate the games tempo. Tyler Hoek played a number of roles for the Bucs in 2008. His intelligent play and work ethic make him a player that the coaches can utilize in a number of positions, while Nixon emerged in the spring and showed great potential for the future.
The addition of Alesi Osorio will make the midfield of ETSU's team even stronger. Osorio is a player with a great passing ability as he can control and change the tempo of the game, and will be a great asset to the team.
The Bucs wide midfield group consists of David Haba and Kat McElroy. Haba's return from injury will give the Bucs additional options in the wide areas for the 2009 season, as the coaches are confident he will be a major threat for ETSU. McElroy helped spark the team on a number of occasions last season, and provides energy and valuable minutes.
Bringing in players with a talent for scoring goals was a priority for 2009. Newcomers Sam Bryan, Theo Yang and Ryan Campbell all bring a legitimate threat and creativity to the final third. Aaron Schoenfeld, showed tremendous ability throughout the inaugural season. His outstanding work rate and physical presence will create many chances for the Bucs. Schoenfeld will be used in a variety of ways though, as his versatility may be utilized in the back depending on the needs of the team. Kyle Franklin brings both experience and maturity to the ETSU roster.
Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more information on men's soccer or any other Buccaneer athletic news.