The 2005 MIAC men's soccer season looks to be full of competitive action and teams with the potential of competing on the national level. Last year's regular season MIAC champion Gustavus looks to be the favorite going into the season. Ranked sixth in the first NSCAA national poll, the Gusites come into this season fresh off a MIAC playoff championship, MIAC regular season co-championship, and appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Gustavus Coach Larry Zelenz, 2004 NSCAA West Region Coach of the Year, returns All-MIAC senior mid-fielders Bobby Kroog and Joe Astry to lead the team.

Perrenial MIAC power Macalester will be a strong contender from the conference crown. The Scots will be trying for their 19th straight winning season and ninth MIAC title. Reigning MIAC regular season co-champ St. Olaf returns 18 letterwinners from last years team. The Oles along with a solid Bethel team will shoot for the MIAC conference championship.

Saint John's, St. Thomas, Carleton, and Hamline all have the possibility of being a surprise team in the conference championship race. Each team showed potential last season but fell short of the MIAC playoffs. Look for at least one of these teams to crack the elusive top four. Saint Mary's, Augsburg, and Concordia will look to rise in the MIAC standings after finishing low in the conference last season. The Cardinals and the Auggies each return many young, talented players. The Cobbers will be led by first-year coach and Concordia alum Damian Koshnick.

The 2005 MIAC men's soccer season gets underway with non-conference games beginning September 1. While MIAC conference play begins Wednesday, September 14. The top four teams in the conference regular season will qualify for the MIAC playoffs and the playoff champion will receive the MIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Semifinal play begins on Wednesday, November 2 with the championship scheduled for Saturday, November 5.

Augsburg College   
Head Coach: Greg Holker (2nd season / 7-9-2 overall)
2004 Record: 7-9-2 (1-7-2 MIAC / 10th)
Key Returners: Aaron Riedel (Sr., MF, Minneapolis, Minn./South) All-MIAC honorable mention in 2004, first team in 2003; tied for second on team in scoring in 2004 (7G-3A--17P), team's leading scorer in 2003 (9G-4A--22P); ranks fifth in school history in total scoring (23G-13A--59P) in 53 games.

Mark Cohn (So., F, St. Michael, Minn./Blaine) tied for second on team in scoring in 2004 (6G-5A--17P).

Geoff Johnson (Sr., D, Blaine, Minn.) three-year starter on defense; has appeared in 53 games in career.
Season Preview: When Greg Holker was hired as Augsburg College's men's soccer coach in 2004, he set ambitious long-term goals for the program, in an effort to spur the Auggies into a prominent spot in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Holker's Auggies didn't disappoint in his first season, finishing 7-9-2 overall. Though 1-7-2 in MIAC play, the Auggies were competitive throughout the year, including tying league powerhouse Macalester 1-1, losing 1-0 to conference co-champ St. Olaf and falling 2-0 to co-champ Gustavus.

"Overall, we're on pace," said Holker, whose 2004 Auggies recorded the team's most wins in a single season since 1980 (11-1-3). "In the conference last year, our results weren't as good as we hoped them to be. We compete in a very difficult conference, and every game you play, whether it's against the bottom team or the top team, you have to fight to get results." 

Midfielder Aaron Riedel (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./South HS), who earned All-MIAC first-team honors in 2003 and honorable-mention honors in 2004, returns to lead the Auggies. Riedel scored seven goals and had three assists last season, and enters his senior season in fifth place on Augsburg's all-time scoring list (23 goals, 13 assists, 59 points). Holker said that he may move Riedel from his center-midfield spot to the wing, in order to create more one-on-one opportunities. 

Geoff Johnson (Sr., Blaine, Minn.), a three-year starter, returns to anchor Augsburg's defense. He has appeared in 53 career games, and has been a strong leader throughout his career.

With just six upperclassmen on the roster this season, Augsburg will rely heavily on its youth in 2005, and Holker has said that he has no problem taking advantage of his talented young players. Key among the group of young players is sophomore forward Mark Cohn (So., St. Michael, Minn./Blaine HS), who contributed six goals and five assists in 2004, starting 16 games as a newcomer. 

Three freshmen, all with similar multiple all-conference and Olympic Development Team credentials, will contend for time as Augsburg's goalkeeper. Pascaul Venter (Fr., Rochester, Minn./John Marshall HS) had a 0.71 goals-against-average his senior year at John Marshall, the sixth-best GAA among the state's Class AA goalkeepers. Evan Fuhs (Fr., Woodbury, Minn.) produced a 0.94 career GAA at Woodbury, while Adam McCarthy (Fr., Whitehall, Mich.) earned all-conference honors and team MVP honors twice for his Michigan high school, with a 1.20 career GAA. 

Complete Augsburg preview at: http://www.augsburg.edu/athletics/msoccer/0506preview.html

Bethel University   
Head Coach: Joel Johnson (2nd season / 11-7-1 overall)
2004 Record: 11-7-1 (6-3-1 MIAC / Tied 3rd)
Key Returners: Reed Thunstrom All-Conf. Forward: 8 goals, 7 assists

Tyler Murchie All-Conf. HM Stopper: 0 goals, 1 assist

Abe Voyen 7 goals, 2 assists

Ryan McKellips 5 goals, 5 assists
Season Preview: 2004 was certainly a season to remember for Bethel soccer. The school had a return to playoff soccer for the first time since 1981, a win over a top ten nationally rated team, and numerous postseason accolades. But that was then and this is now. Gone are four- year starters Eric Berg (GK), Scott Hamlin (SW), and Ben Powers (MF). Also gone is the Royals midfield pair of Maurice Ndjouma and Matt Johnson. 

The Royals do return five of their top six scorers and three of their four defensive starters. Offensively, the Royals will rely heavily on Reed Thunstrom (Jr. Cambridge) and Ryan McKellips (Sr., Coon Rapids/ Meadow Creek) for scoring. Last season the pair combined for 13 goals and 12 assists. Bethel will also look for more contribution out of Matt Duer (So., Andover, MN) and Rich Alberts (Jr., Maple Grove, MN) who both improved the depth of the attack last season. The midfield will be lead by two-year starter Abe Voyen (Jr, Mounds View) who added seven goals and two assists last season. Due to the departure of 3 senior midfielders, the Royals will be looking for new players to step in and see consistent playing time in the middle. Defensively, the Royals will see a new face at the goalkeeping position and there are some big shoes to fill after losing 2 outstanding goalkeepers to graduation. Whoever earns the goalkeeping duties will thankfully have the experience of returning starters Ryan Vanderveen (Jr., Wheaton, IL) Peter Halverson (Sr., Mounds View) and Tyler Murchie (Sr., Park Ridge, IL) in front of him. Bethel posted a 1.19 goals against average last season, and the defensive intensity became a trademark as the season progressed. The Royals will count on that stingy defense led by Halverson, Murchie, and VanderVeen along with sophomore Ryan Clark (White Bear Lake, MN) to make another playoff run this season.

Complete Bethel preview at: http://cas.bethel.edu/athletics/M_Soccer/2005/preview.html

Carleton College
Head Coach: Bob Carlson (9th season/ 68-63-12 overall)
2004 Record: 6-12-0 (4-6-0 MIAC / Tied 7th)
Key Returners: David Watson (Sr., MF, Woodbury, Minn.) three-time All-MIAC

Kurt Bunnelle (Sr., D, Mundelein, Ill) three-year starter

Ross Mattson (Jr., GK , St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) starter in 2003 and 2004

Charlie Wood (Jr., D, Lake Forest, Ill.) defensive stalwart

Liam Reilly (Sr., D, Berkeley, Calif.), three-year starter
Season Preview: Coming off a season that witnessed 11 of their 18 games decided by one goal, the Carleton College men’s soccer team enters the 2005 season looking for a new recipe.

One key ingredient for the 2005 Knights will be senior David Watson (Woodbury, Minn.). The midfielder is Carleton’s first player to earn All-MIAC honors in his first three seasons. Despite playing more of a central midfielder role last season he finished second on the team with six goals and 15 total points. He tallied a team-high two game-winning goals. Carlson knows that Watson must make Carleton’s flavor sizzle if the Knights are to be successful in 2005.

Outside of Watson, however, Carlson must choose from one of the largest rosters in his tenure to decide which players will compliment Watson. Only two returning players, junior Ross Martin (Norwalk, Conn.) and senior Kurt Bunnelle (Mundelein, Ill.) started all 18 games last season.

Joining Martin and Bunnelle as top returners are defenders Charlie Wood (Jr./Lake Forest, Ill.), senior Aaron Lackner (Mendota Heights, Minn./St. Paul Academy), senior Joe Cooter (Berkeley, Calif./Head Royce School), senior Liam Reilly (Berkeley, Calif.), junior Robbie Webber (Norwich, Vt./St. Paul’s School), junior Aaron Colussi (Madison, Ind./Madison Consildated) and sophomore Marc Monbouquette (Omaha, Neb./Omaha Central). Rookie Paul Pedtke (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) and Joe Lindner (Hanover Park, Ill./Glenbard North) will support either defensively or in the midfield, Carlson said.

The goalkeeper slot will likely feature a tandem of senior Brian Aleinikoff (Denver/Univ. of Denver HS) and Ross Mattson (Jr./St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy). “I think we have two very good goalkeepers,” Carlson said. “Both had very good seasons in 2004 and we’re going to be very solid in goal.”

Offensively, Watson does have a strong supporting cast. The Knights must find a way to replace Yemi Adegunju ’05, but rookies Bobby Phillips (Vadnais Heights, Minn./Mounds View) and Brian TenHoor (Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) should help as well. Will Camisa (Jr./Los Altos, Calif./Woodside Priory) and Hue-Chee Yang (Jr./Hugo, Minn./St. Paul Central), who played reserve roles a year ago, could be factors offensively as well.

“Dave is the key to our attack because he’s a great distributor of the ball. There haven’t been any better passers that have played at Carleton. He needs to lead us this year.”

The biggest unknown for Carleton is its offense, “It might be Dave or it might be someone moving forward that played in the back last year–-I’m not sure,” Carlson said. “That’s the biggest question mark for us is where we’re going to find the 15 goals that we lost from last year.”

One thing Carlson will need to figure out is how to combine his depth from the newcomers and returning players to make a winning mix. If captains Watson and Bunnelle can produce at a high level, Carlson may be serving up a winning dish in 2005.

Concordia College   
Head Coach: Damian Koshnick (1st season / 0-0-0 overall)
2004 Record: 2-13-3 (0-8-2 MIAC / 11th)
Key Returners: Sylvester Ndhlovu (Forward) 3-year starter; 4th on the team in scoring in ’04

Kevin Quimby (Midfielder) 2-year starter; 5th on the team in scoring in ’04

Matt Klein (Midfielder) played in all 18 games as a freshman in ‘04

Season Preview: Concordia men’s soccer first-year head coach Damian Koshnick knows that he has his work cut out for him if he wants to bring the Cobbers back to the top of the MIAC. He understands the fact that his first year, or two, will be spent building a foundation for the future. Hopefully for Koshnick and the rest of the Concordia men’s soccer team, they will build a strong enough base that will support a state-of-the-art skyscraper that will reach all the way to the top of the MIAC and into the NCAA tournament. 

Koshnick became the third head coach for Concordia in the past three seasons when he took over the position in the early part of the summer. The program has seen the coaching carousel take its toll on the team and Koshnick is eager to put stability back into the once-proud program. He brings with him an intense passion for the game and the ability to teach student/athletes at the college level. Besides his coaching duties for Concordia, he also teaches in the English Department at the college. Koshnick will need to use every teaching trick that he has learned over the years as he inherits a team that is made up of 11 freshman, 8 sophomores, two juniors and three seniors. 

Several candidates could step into the role of filling the net for the Cobbers. Sylvester Ndhlovu is a three-year starter for Concordia and has always shown the knack for getting quality chances around the goal. He was the team’s fourth leading scorer in 2004. He will look for help from Kevin Quimby and Matt Klein. The diminutive Quimby, who plays a foot above his listed height of 5-3, has been one of the most dangerous players for Concordia the past two years. Although not a prototype goal scorer, he has the capability to break down a defense and set up chances for himself and his teammates. Klein played in all 18 games for the Cobbers in 2004 as a freshman and finished tied for second on the team in scoring.

The midfield should feature several newcomers battling for positions. The one constant from last year will be Caleb Husmann. Husmann transferred to Concordia at the beginning of the 2004 season from NCAA Division II West Virginia Wesleyan, and will be aided by a year’s worth of experience in the tough and physical MIAC. Quimby will figure in the mix as his brand of playmaking skills will be an anchor for the team’s transitional game.

Two of the three seniors will play a pivotal role in securing the Concordia defense. Judd Mann, a three-year starter, has the basic skills and work ethic to be one of the top players in the league. He will have to overcome his tendency to lose concentration if the Cobbers will have a defense that can be consistent for a full game. Joining Mann in the back will be Jeff Ottmar. Ottmar has been bounced around from defense to midfield to forward and back again. His 6-6, 195 lb frame makes him an imposing figure on the field as he looks to have a breakout season.

Another quality addition to the Cobber attack will be the play of Gennadiy Patselov. Patselov was one of the top players in North Dakota the last two seasons as he starred for the 2003 state champion Fargo North (N.D.) Spartans. 

The goalkeeping job looks to be a three-player race. Sophomores Brett Oestreich and Dustin Pattengale have been impressive in the early part of the preseason. Neither player logged a single minute of playing time last season and will have to overcome the nerves of seeing their first college experience. Joining Oestreich and Pattengale is freshman Brandon Teets. 

Complete Concordia preview at: http://www.cord.edu/dept/sports/fall/ms/preview.php

Gustavus Adolphus College   
Head Coach: Larry Zelenz (20th season / 246-141-41 overall)
2004 Record: 18-2-3 (8-1-1 MIAC / Tied 1st)
Key Returners: Bobby Kroog (SR, MF, 5-11, 170) 3rd Team All-America (2004), 1st Team All-Region, All-Conference, 4 goals, 3 assists, 11 points

Jon Astry (SR, MF, 6-0, 160) 3rd Team All-Region, All-Conference

Jordan Iblings (SR, D, 6-3, 180) –2 goals, 1 assist, 5 points

Grant Morlock (SR, D, 5-11, 180)

Jeffrey Johnson (SO, MF, 5-9, 155) 6 goals, 2 assists, 14 points
Season Preview: The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s soccer team enters the 2005 season coming off a very successful and decorated 2004 campaign. Head Coach Larry Zelenz, the 2004 National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas West Region Coach of the Year, returns six starters from a squad that picked up a school-record 18 wins and the program’s second MIAC Tournament title en route to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. 

Key returnees include two-time All-America, all-region and All-MIAC selection Bobby Kroog (Senior, Bloomington, Minn.) and 2004 Third Team All-West Region selection Jon Astry (Senior, Eden Prairie, Minn.). “A key for us this year is going to be how those two play. They have the midfield solidified and we need them to perform well,” Coach Zelenz commented. Kroog and Astry played an integral part on a Gustie offense that scored 46 goals while allowing only four in 23 games. 

Gustavus also returns two of three defenders from last year’s squad. Seniors Jordan Iblings (Plymouth, Minn.) and Grant Morlock (Moorhead, Minn.) will anchor the defense with help from Sam Barthell (Sophomore, Bloomington, Minn.) and incoming first-year player Todd Johnson (Bloomington, Minn.). 

Others returning for Gustavus include midfielders Jeffrey Johnson (Sophomore, Tonka Bay, Minn.) and Alex Groth (Junior, Waupaca, Wisc.). Johnson was the team’s leading goal scorer in 2004 with six. Groth was tied for third with four. Chris Pinahs (Senior, Delafield, Wisc.) and Matt Broin (Junior, Minnetonka, Minn.) give the Gusties experience and flexibility at the midfield position. 

Senior forward Caleb Bousu (Burnsville, Minn.), an All-MIAC Honorable Mention selection in 2003, will be back at full strength after suffering an injury last season. Others expected to contribute at forward are Jeff Aasness (Senior, Moorhead, Minn.) and Mike Butterworth (Sophomore, Anchorage, Alaska). 

One position that will be under close watch is goalkeeper. Junior Tyler Garry (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and sophomore Trevor Brown (Madison, Wisc.) look to be battling for the position, but it remains unknown who will step in and mind the net.

The Gusties will look to their experienced veterans and wealth of young talent in 2005 to battle an extremely tough schedule and continue a winning tradition of Gustavus soccer. Zelenz stated, “The unique thing about this team is the amount of quality seniors we have. We’re talking seven starting seniors out of 11 guys on the field, that’s pretty good.” 

The 2005 schedule is treacherous, including four non-conference opponents that made NCAA Tournament appearances last season. Zelenz commented about the schedule, saying “This is the toughest schedule that Gustavus has ever had. These seniors deserve a challenge. And it will help us in the end to have faced NCAA Tournament caliber teams during the regular season.” The Gusties open the season at home against UW-Whitewater on Saturday, September 3. The first MIAC contest is Wednesday, September 14 at Carleton. 

Complete Gustavus preview at: http://www.gustavus.edu/oncampus/athletics/news.cfm?view=home&id=1494

Hamline University   
Head Coach: Andy Coutts (7th season / 38-61-6 overall)
2004 Record: 11-7-0 (4-6-0 MIAC / Tied 7th)
Key Returners: Andrew Helling (Sr., M, 6-0, 165, Brookings, S.D.) All-MIAC first team in 2004, three goals, three assists last season

Ben Watkins (Sr., D, 6-1, 185, Eau Claire, Wis., Memorial) All-MIAC honorable mention in 2004, one goal last season

Micah Merritt (Sr., D, 5-9, 150, Brookings, S.D.) two goals, two assists last season

Tony Vang (Sr., M, 5-6, 150, St. Paul, Minn., Harding) four goals, two assists last season

Josh Faust (So., F, 5-7, 150, White Bear Lake, Minn.) two goals, seven assists last season
Season Preview: First winning season in 21 years. Check. 

Best home record in school history. Check. 

Setting the school record for wins in a season. Check.

For eight seniors on the Hamline men’s soccer team, their list of team accomplishments is impressive. As first-years in 2002, the team posted a 9-8 overall record – the first winning season for the program since 1981. Last year, they went 9-2 at Pat Paterson Fields and 11-7 overall, posting school bests in both home winning percentage and season wins.

But there is one last item on the Hamline seniors’ checklist before they end their careers - a shot at playing in the MIAC playoffs.

"If there is a theme for this season it is a sense of urgency," head coach Andy Coutts said. "We have this corps of guys who have started since their first-year season, and there’s still that one goal of playing for a conference championship. It will be a daily reminder that there is one goal that we haven’t gotten to yet. For our seniors, this is their last chance."

The Pipers return five players who have served as three-year starters. Among them are All-MIAC first team midfielder Andrew Helling (Brookings, S.D.) and All-MIAC honorable mention defender Ben Watkins (Eau Claire, Wis.). Helling scored three goals and assisted on three others in 2004 while Watkins scored one goal from his backfield position. Joining Helling in the midfield is senior Tony Vang (St. Paul, Minn.), who broke out last season for four goals and two assists and senior Alex Morawiecki (Winona, Minn.), who tallied one goal.

Senior Micah Merritt (Brookings, S.D.), who netted two goals and two assists in 2004, will team with Watkins in the backfield alongside sophomore Arron Wight (White Bear Lake, Minn.), who started 18 games as a first-year.

"These guys have really been through the battles," Coutts said. "We expect that experience to count for something this year." 

"Ultimately, we want to get into the MIAC playoffs, and we feel we have the right combination of talent and experience to give us the chance to play for the conference championship," Coutts said.

For the complete outlook, go to http://www.hamline.edu/hamline_info/athletics/mens_soccer/2005/outlook.html

Complete Hamline preview at: http://www.hamline.edu/hamline_info/athletics/mens_soccer/2005/outlook.html

Macalester College   
Head Coach: John Leaney (18th season / 214-76-33 overall)
Ian Barker (3rd season as co-head coach / 21-13-4 overall)
2004 Record: 9-7-2 (6-3-1 MIAC / Tied 3rd)
Key Returners: Andrew Wissler (Sr., MF, Annandale, Va. / Woodson) – All-MIAC, 4 goals, 5 assists

Magnus Oppenheimer (Jr., MF, Stockholm, Sweden / Viktor Rydberg) – All-MIAC, 4 goals

Devin Homme (Sr., D, Minneapolis, Minn. / South)

Season Preview: Macalester posted its 18th straight winning season a year ago and despite some key graduation losses are primed to challenge for the conference title, as it usually does. The Scots are going for their ninth MIAC championship. After falling short in a bid for their fourth title in a row last fall, look for the team to show a renewed determination in ’05. First, Macalester must replace one of its deepest senior classes ever, a group which was made up of numerous three- and four-year starters. Co-coaches Ian Barker and John Leaney must replace graduated veterans like all-region pick Mike Dannenberg, Patrick Kelly, Robb Swick, Stuart Peacock, Brendan Viele, Eric Nordstrum and Tom Kleczewski.

Macalester has some skilled players to build around like all-conference midfielders Andrew Wissler (Sr., Annandale, Va. / W.T. Woodson) and Magnus Oppenheimer (Jr., Stockholm, Sweden / Viktor Rydberg). Barker and Leaney will ask these two to carry a heavy leadership role following the loss of last year’s deep senior class. Wissler and Oppenheimer were two of the team’s goal-scoring leaders last season with four markers, while Wissler contributed five assists. They have the ability to be a pair of the MIAC’s top players this year.

The Scots will look to increase their goal production and are seeking some scoring punch from the likes of Oppenheimer, Wissler, Michael Blythe (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.), Adric Mueller (Jr., Madison, Wis. / West), Joe Wertz (Sr., St. Paul, Minn. / St. Paul Academy), Eddie Powers (Sr., Lincoln, Neb. / Southeast) and Grant Stegner (So., Edina, Minn.). Blythe netted four goals last year, while Wertz added three after scoring nine the year before. 

Defensively, the Scots should be in good shape led by veteran defenders and midfielders like Ian Ritz (Sr., Ames, Ia.), Devin Homme (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn. / South) and Michael Melamed (Sr., Gilbert, Ariz. / Mesquite).

“The team was disappointed in their record last year,” commented Coach Barker, “but there is a lot of enthusiasm for this season. This team has a lot of potential.”

Complete Macalester preview at: http://www.macalester.edu/athletics/msoccer/news/05_season_outlook.html

Saint John's University   
Head Coach: Pat Haws (28th season / 291-110-41 overall)
2004 Record: 11-6-0 (6-4-0 MIAC / 5th)
Key Returners: Tudor Flintham (Sr., Forward, Norwich, UK/Hewitt School for Boys) 8 g, 6 a, 22p, ’04 Honorable Mention All-MIAC, tied for fourth in the MIAC at 0.40 apg, fifth at 1.20 ppg and tied for eighth at 0.40 gpg.

Dan Swift (Sr., Forward, Rosemount, Minn.) 3 g, 5 a, 11 p, tied for ninth in the MIAC last year at 0.30 apg and 10th at 0.90 ppg.

Jerry D'Alessandro (Jr., Midfielder, Maple Grove, Minn./Osseo) 1 g, 8 a, 10 p, third in the MIAC at 0.50 apg.

Ben Passe (Jr., Defender, Oronoco, Minn./Rochester Lourdes)

Sebastian Gomes (Jr., Defender, Perth, Ontario/St. John Catholic) 0 g, 1 a, 1 p 

Justin Swierk (So., Midfielder, Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) 4 g, 1 a, 9 p
Season Preview: After five consecutive double-digit win seasons, the Saint John's University soccer team is excited for the upcoming 2005 season. One of the possible highlights of the new season is that head coach Pat Haws is only nine victories away from 300 wins in his 28-year career.

SJU ended its 2004 season with an overall record of 11-6-0 and 6-4-0 in the MIAC. 

The top returning seniors for the Johnnies this fall are forward Tudor Flintham (Norwich, UK/Hewitt School for Boys) and forward Dan Swift (Rosemount, Minn.). Flintham was second on the team last season with eight goals and 22 points. Flintham also tied for fourth in the MIAC at 0.40 assists per game, fifth at 1.20 points per game and tied for eighth at 0.40 goals per game. Swift tied for ninth in the MIAC last year at 0.30 assists per game and 10th at 0.90 points per game.

Complete Saint John's preview at http://www.gojohnnies.com/soccer/05preview.htm

Saint Mary's University   
Head Coach: Eric Luzzi (5th season / 21-39-8 overall)
2004 Record: 3-10-3 (2-7-1 MIAC / 7th)
Key Returners: Mike Schmitt (Jr., Mid., Woodridge, Ill. / Downers Grove North) 16 GP, 5 goals, 11 points – both team highs

Michael Boland (Sr., For., Lake Zurich, Ill. / Carmel) 16 GP, 1 goal,, 2 assists, 4 points

Jeff Kunick (Sr., Def., Eau Claire, Wis. / Eau Claire North) 16 GP, 1 assist
Season Preview: Eric Luzzi isn't going to deny it — he wants to see his Saint Mary's University men's soccer team playing soccer in early November — as one of the four teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference post-season tournament.

But, the Cardinals' head coach admits, that goal isn't what's driving his team this year.

Rather than focusing on the future, Luzzi and the Cardinals are living in the present.

"It's been a little different atmosphere thus far," Luzzi said. "We have not had one discussion — no one's even thought about — where we want to be at the end of the season.”

"We have a lot to prove — to ourselves, to the school, to the MIAC," said Luzzi, whose Cardinals struggled to a 3-10-3 overall record a year ago. "We were not a great team last year, but we were better than three wins. The year before, we managed (four) wins — and we were definitely better than that.

"It's time for us to start living up to our potential."

Complete Saint Mary's preview at: http://sports.smumn.edu/m_soccer/2005/newsletter/mspreview.html

St. Olaf College   
Head Coach: Kurt Anderson (16th season / 164-109-17 overall)
2004 Record: 11-7-1 (8-1-1 MIAC / Tied 1st)
Key Returners: Abu Farah (Jr., M, Rochester, Minn./Century) Second team All-Region, All-MIAC, seven goals, five assists.

Faiz Abdirahman (Sr., F, Rochester, Minn./Mayo) All-MIAC, 12 points in 2004, led MIAC in scoring as sophomore in 2003.

Andrew Gastineau (Jr., D, Rochester, Minn./Mayo) All-MIAC honorable mention in 2004
Season Preview: Head coach Kurt Anderson hopes for more of the same for his St. Olaf men's soccer team in 2005. Anderson has two All-Region picks and 18 returning letterwinners back from last season's co-MIAC championship team and he has every hope that the Oles can stay right where they were last season. 

"I'm excited for the year - we've got a lot of returning guys back with some experience," said Anderson. "We'd be disappointed if we weren't one of the teams contending for a playoff spot." 

The task won't be a cake walk for the Oles, who shared the title with NCAA quarterfinalist Gustavus last fall. 

St. Olaf will play their first four and eight of their first nine on the road, including a two-game non-conference stint at Lawrence and UW-Oshkosh and a battle with no. 8 Wartburg at home. They also host no. 2 UC-Santa Cruz in mid October, just a week after their MIAC match at no. 6 Gustavus. 

The scoring punch will be led by Abu Farah (Jr., Rochester, Minn./Century), a second-team Adidas All-West Region and All-MIAC selection, who had a team-high 19 points on seven goals and five assists last season. Farah had five game-winners and assisted on two others. He was seventh in the MIAC in scoring and the second-leading scorer among playoff teams. 

Jacob Olsen (Sr., Petosky, Mich.), Tommy Daymont (Sr., Northfield, Minn.), Grant Collins (Sr., Rochester, Minn./Century) and Brian Kehoe (Jr., Johnson Creek, Wis.) each return after starting a majority of games last fall. Daymont had three assists. 

At forward, Faiz Abdirahmen (Sr., Rochester, Minn./Mayo), who led the MIAC in scoring as a sophomore, is back after a 14-point junior campaign. He was an all-league pick for the second time and a third-team all-region selection last year. 

Erik Halaas (Jr., West Lakeland, Minn./Bradford) could take some of the scoring responsibilities in 2005. Halaas had eight points last season, good for third on the squad, on three goals and two assists. 

Gabe Herrick (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) returns as well, after a collecting a goal and two assists in 2004. 

Defensively, St. Olaf will have to replace four-year starter Matt Osborne, but the tandem of Andrew Gastineau (Jr., Rochester, Minn./Mayo) and Ryan Franz (Sr., Rochester, Minn./Mayo) are back to help secure the backfield. 

Mike Prendergrast (Jr., Rochester, Minn./Century) could step into a starting role and Patrick Rosemas (So., Littleton, Colo./J.K. Mullen) will get some time. 

In goal, Anderson will be trying to replace three-year starter Kyle Trimble, with a trio of keepers early. 

Will Smith (Fy, Orono, Minn.) will likely start the opener, but sophomore Eric Smith (Bainbridge Island, Wash) and first-year Kevin Friede (Fy, Edina, Minn.) will be in the mix as well. 

Complete St. Olaf preview at: http://fusion.stolaf.edu/athletics//index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsDetails&id=435

University of St. Thomas   
Head Coach: Aaron Macke (3rd season, 33-16-5 overall)
2004 Record: 11-5-2 overall (5-4-1 MIAC / 6th)
Key Returners: Mike Heitzman (Sr., MF) HM All-MIAC in 2002, 2003 

Nick Radigan (So., F) 11g-5a in 2004

Matt Carlson (So., GK) 4-4-2, 0.77 GAA in 2004

Daniel Hutton (So., GK) 4-1-0, 0.88 GAA in 2004
Season Preview: The 2004 St. Thomas men's soccer team beat conference playoff qualifiers Macalester and Bethel but fell short of a return trip to the MIAC postseason. 

In a fall which produced an 11-5-2 overall mark, an 8-3 home record and nine shutouts, St. Thomas still missed the conference playoffs. One-goal defeats to Gustavus, St. Olaf and Carleton were especially costly.

Fourth-year coach Aaron Macke must replace two top defenders in Joe Wanzek, who graduated, and senior Matt McWilliams, who moved to Arizona to finish his studies.

Senior midfielder Mike Heitzman, a two-time HM All-MIAC honoree, returned late in the 2004 season after a 15-month injury layoff. He scored two goals in four games late last season, and has five goals and two assists in 41 career games. He joins senior midfielder Jeremy Pope as a co-captain. 

The team's top scorer returns in sophomore Nick Radigan (11 goals-5 assists in 2004). Other returners include senior midfielders Matt Michalik, Andy Ko, Kris Gurda and Adam Harding; junior defender Joe Rolfzen; junior midfielder Ben Orcutt; sophomore defender Eric Schmitt; and sophomore forwards Max Weber (2g-5a) and Ben Teeling (3g).

Returning at goalkeeper are two former Minnesota prep all-staters -- sophomores Matt Carlson (Stillwater HS) and Daniel Hutton (Apple Valley HS).

The Tommies had 56 players try out and still have 42 players in the program, including 17 on a junior-varsity team that will play a nine-game schedule. Top newcomers include junior forward Blake Wojski, a transfer from Marquette who scored 23 goals as a senior all-stater at Stillwater in 2002; and freshmen all-staters Andy Gikkling of Cretin-Derham Hall and Ryan Wright of Wayzata, both midfielders.

The Tommies begin their season at home Sept. 3 vs. Buena Vista (Iowa), an 8-8-4 team from 2004. (Buena Vista opens its season Sept. 2 at Bethany Lutheran). 

The Tommies open MIAC play Sept. 14 in Moorhead vs. Concordia. They face 21st-ranked Whitworth (Wash.) on an early-season trek to Spokane.

Complete St. Thomas preview at: http://www.stthomas.edu/tommies/shared/shownews.cfm?ArticleID=3645

2004 MIAC Men's Soccer Links - Standings, Results, Awards, Final Stats, Players of the Week, Season Preview
2003 MIAC Men's Soccer Links - Standings, Results, Awards, Final Stats, Players of the Week, Season Preview
2002 MIAC Men's Soccer Links - Standings, Results, Awards, Final Stats, Players of the Week, Season Preview
2001 MIAC Men's Soccer Links - Standings, Results, Awards, Final Stats, Players of the Week, Season Preview