September 11, 2007
Filed under Sports
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Author: Andrew Schlegel
Head Coach: Dave Saward
Captains: Andrew Germansky ’08, Alex Elias ’08
Save the Date: Oct. 13, when Middlebury hosts rival Williams
Get it Stat: Last season, the men’s soccer team got an at large bid into the NCAA Division III National Tournament after a strong run in the NESCAC tournament. Middlebury’s last appearance in the National Tournament was in 2000.
The men’s soccer team is coming off a strong finish to what in retrospect looks like an inconsistent season. Last year’s team had loads of talent, but had trouble stringing together wins in a conference as strong as the NESCAC. As a result, the Panthers suffered five regular season defeats.
Nevertheless, by the time the NESCAC tournament came around, the Panthers were playing their best soccer. They finished the season strong, beating Bowdoin and Amherst before losing to Williams in penalty kicks in the NESCAC finals, and made their first appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament since 2000.
This season, the team is riding the wave of strong, confident play built from last year’s big wins and is hoping to repeat, even improve on, last year’s results. Although seven players have graduated from last year’s team, including All-NESCAC and All-New England selections Dave Lee ’07 and Zack Toth ’07, the team’s lead scorer Casey Ftorek ’09 who was also awarded All-NESCAC and All-New England honors last season is returning. Ftorek will be shooting to top his 13 goals and eight assists.
Brian Bush ’09, who played in four games last season and only gave up one goal, will fill the net vacated by Toth. Bush has already gotten off to a great start. In the team’s home opener, he stopped all 12 Connecticut College shots to record the shutout.