As the 2008 men’s soccer team heads into a new season, second year head coach Eric Watson is counting on the players’ technical skills and work ethic to bring the team to new heights. Goals for 2008 include increasing the win-loss ratio and to qualify for the SUNYAC tournament.
“The team is young but has a lot of talent,” stated Watson. “We’ll have to see how long it takes for them to gel and for the first year players to adjust to the speed of a college game.”
New Paltz has a core group of veterans returning to the backfield, led by junior starter Anton Shipman (Howard Beach/Molloy) who was named the team MVP in 2007. Shipman started all 17 games and netted a team high three goals. Senior Ryan Lundgren (Montgomery/Valley Central) and sophomore Nick Lamon (Hewlett) come back to the Hawks this season after Lundgren started 16 games and Lamon played all 17 games last season, with 13 starting assignments. Joining the trio on the back line is senior Robert Mendes (Mineola/Wheatley) who makes the shift from midfield.
Sophomore Jason Fancie (Ossining), who contributed to the 2007 defense and first year Brendan Ujvary (Kings Park) will add depth to the back. The defense also welcomes newcomers Jimmy Alexiou (Bayside/St. Francis Prep), James Berbrick (Melville/Walt Whitman), Evan Martel (West Sayville/Sayville) and Eric Rounds (Johnson City/Main Endwell).
The midfield will be looked to push the ball forward and add to the attack system of the forwards. First years Tommy Garafola (Richmond Hill/St. Francis Prep) and local Joe Emberger (Poughkeepsie/Roy C. Ketchum) will use their ability to make plays happen in the central midfield. Sophomore Frank Tloczkowski (New Hyde Park/New Hyde Park Memorial), transfer Robert Wexler (Delmar/Bethlehem) and newcomer Brandon Quinn (Hampton Bays) complete the position depth.
Junior Sean Reminick (East Meadow) and sophomore Joe Rose (Seaford) will patrol the right side. Both started all 17 games last season with Reminick netting three goals and Rose adding three assists. The left side will feature senior Chris Hotzak (Saint James/Smithtown), who started all 17 games in the 2007 season and newcomers James McGaley (Babylon/St. John the Baptist) and Michael Santalesa (New Hyde Park/St. Francis Prep).
A priority going forward for the Hawks will be to score more goals. First years James Altadonna (Massapequa Park/Massapequa) and Tommy Willoughby (Levittown/Island Trees) are a part of Watson’s plan to bring to success to the men’s soccer program. Sophomore Lucas Natel (Mineloa) and junior Harper Jaroff (Old Westbury/Wheatley) return for the Hawks, adding scoring potential to the front line.
Returning goalkeepers Patrick Carlucci (Goshen) and Peter Carmel (Lake Ronkonkoma/Stony Brook) are ready to defend their starting time against newcomer Thomas Viscardi (Lake Ronkonkoma/Sachem North). Carlucci was 2-1 in net last season with a .840 save percentage and Carmel allowed 2.69 goals against average in 11 games with a .745 save percentage.
The Hawks have a tough opening schedule as they begin play on Friday August, 29th against Western New England College as a part of the Adidas Kick-Off Classic held at Wheaton. New Paltz hosts Cobleskill in their home opener on Tuesday September 2nd at 4:30 pm.
*Photos by Stockton Photo