Fri, Aug. 31, 2012 - [Men's Soccer]
The Loras College men's soccer team outscored opponents 75-18 and had 18 players see the field in at least 20 games in 2011. The end result was a 17-3-3 record, runner-up finish in the IIAC regular season, and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. In 2012, the Duhawks are looking for their seventh Iowa Conference title and a deeper run into the 2012 tournament.
They'll use their depth once again this year to get there.
Last year's team had 24 players register at least one point on offense, no player reach double digits in goals, and a cluster of nine players with four goals or more. They also shutout 14 opponents in their 17 wins.
Head coach Dan Rothert expects more of the same this year.
"The depth is exciting and makes for battles every day at practice and we will utilize the depth again like we did last year," said Loras' all-time leader in wins.
Four of Loras' seven All-IIAC performers are back this year, including All-Region midfielder Kevin Cavers and second team All-IIAC picks Brad Joiner, Louie Oswald, and Dan Figura.
"Dan Figura and Louie Oswald both played in the PDL this summer and that has certainly helped them continue to grow their games," Rothert noted. "Johnny Rummelhart and Erik Berkowitz have also shown progression."
Loras will be missing their leading goal scorer from 2012 in Donald St. George and their starting goalkeeper in Nate Dubois, but Rothert expects players to slide in to those spots without missing a beat.
"Our depth has made us even better," said Rothert. "We proved last year that teams can't key in on just one or two players when we have the ball."
In goal, Dylan Milkent will get the nod as he starts his junior year.
"I expect Dylan to do well. He's put in his time his first two years and has the ability to control the 18 (yard box) for the full 90 minutes," added Rothert.
Also helping to fill the void left by the graduating class of 2012 will be Andy Filipiak, who missed all of 2011 with an injury.
A fresh crop of recruits will complement the returners.
"We've got a handful of new guys who proved they can keep up with what we're doing during preseason, and we'll use them regularly as long as they maintain their focus and play to the standard we've set," Rothert stated.
A CLOSER LOOK:
2011 Record: 17-3-3, 6-1-1 in the IIAC (2nd)
2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll: 1st
Starters Lost: Donald St. George, Chris Comstock, Camilo Garces, Nate DuBois
Key Returners: Kevin Cavers, Tom Fluegel, Dan Figura, Louie Oswald, Johnny Rummelhart, Brad Joiner
Also Keep An Eye On: Malcolm Calbert, Tim van den Bergh, Eric Gilbert, JoJo Schmidt, Bryan Irwin
Loras is 65-6-4 all-time in the Rock Bowl.
Loras' non-conference schedule includes two defending conference champions in Dominican and UW-Whitewater, and the annual contests with Wheaton and Washington University.
Loras and UW-Whitewater will once again battle for the Hawk Cup on September 12.
WATCH THEM IN THE ROCK BOWL:
Loras is home a total of seven times in the next month, starting August 31 versus Bethel in the season opener and Sunday against St. Mary's.
Full Schedule HERE.