HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's soccer team has established itself as one of the top squads in the Centennial Conference under head coach Shane Rineer. After leading his team to the conference championship game in 2011, a Centennial Conference Championship in 2012 and the top slot in the conference's regular season standings last season, the Fords have plenty of reason for optimism that another successful season is on the horizon this coming year.
"Our staff is excited about the team this year," stated Rineer. "It is a young energetic group who is working on getting better day by day."
Haverford returns seven players from last season's roster that started at least eight games. Although the Fords will be without the services of graduate Ford Bohrmann, they return four of the team's top five point producers from last season. Bohrmann, who scored nine goals and recorded four assists, was named a second-team All-Centennial Conference performer last season. Haverford's top returning scorer from last season is junior Sam Yarosh. Yarosh was also a first-team All-Centennial Conference pick in 2013 as he scored six goals and recorded two assists. He was also named to the NSCAA third-team All-Mid-Atlantic Region team.
In addition to the seven returning starters from last season, sophomore Tejan Walcott finished third on the team with five goals last season after seeing most of his action off of the bench. Junior Brady Seitz and sophomore Matthew Clausen each scored three goals last year. Seitz added three assists as those two rounded out Haverford's top five point producers in 2013. Junior Colin Seitz is also back after tying for the team lead with four assists last season. Sophomore Will Corkery scored two goals last season, while last year's Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year Dorian Wirz also tallied in his freshman campaign.
Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Sam Miller took over the starting job halfway through the season. He started eight games and posted a 4-2-2 record with a 0.89 goals against average in that time. Miller will provide veteran experience in the defense that will see several players need to step up their role with the losses of several key starters, including first-team All-Centennial Conference selection Adam Morollo and second-team all-conference defender Jamie Reingruber. Matt Johnson, now graduated, also started 17 games on defense last season.
Sophomore Maclyn Willigan appeared in 13 games last season defensively. He made 12 starts. Senior Ian Alers also returns after seeing time in seven games, making three starts, as a part of Haverford's defensive third. Defense was a huge part of Haverford's success in 2013 as just twice the team allowed two goals in the same game. The first came in the season opener, a 3-2 win against Drew. The second time was a 2-0 loss to Dickinson at the end of the season in the conference semifinals.
On the strength of a late season charge that saw the Fords go 3-0-2 during their final five conference games, Haverford jumped up the conference standings and used a 2-1 victory over then-No. 18 Swarthmore on the final home date of the regular season to clinch the right to host the Centennial Conference tournament on its home field.
"After ending last season in such a difficult way, all of us have worked harder than we ever have before to come into this season in our best shape possible," explained Yarosh. "Every one of us is committed to fighting day in and day out for each other. When it comes down to it, we're all here because we think we can win a championship."
Men's soccer opens its 2014 season this Sunday, August 31 at Goucher. The home opener for the team will be next weekend when it hosts the Jimmy Mills Tournament. Centennial Conference play gets underway on September 20 when Johns Hopkins comes to Walton Field.