Season Preview: Men's Soccer looks to find the win column in 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University men's soccer team will wipe the slate clean in 2010 as the Bison enter a new conference with a new head coach, that is familiar with the program, and ready to put the past behind them. GU officially joined the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) this past summer after being in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) for 20 years. The Bison will carry a 54-game winless streak into this season. Gallaudet hopes to turn its misfortunes around this year and what better man to lead the charge then the last coach to record a win for the Bison men's soccer program. Luis Gendive returns to the helm for the Bison after a three-year hiatus. Gendive coached the Bison program in 2005 and '06 and cumulated a 4-34-1 record. GU's last men's soccer win came in October 2006.
Senior Zane Noschese (Pittsburgh, Pa.) returns as the leading scorer for the Bison from last season. The 5-foot-10 striker scored three goals and six points for the Buff and Blue. He also led the team with 17 shots, 10 shots on goal, and started 16 games. Sophomore James Rummo (Butler, N.J.) joined the team late last season but once he got on the field he showed off his quickness upfront. Rummo had five shots in 11 games played. Freshman Abdul Al-Makura (Bassa, Nigeria) is new to the program but adds some depth at the forward position.
The midfield is one of the deepest positions for the Bison in 2010 as Coach Gendive has seven different players he can filter in at that position and all have experience. Senior Brandon Winebarger (Crawford, Tenn.) is back to help anchor the midfield unit where he started 15 times last year. Sophomore Richard Spiecker (Rochester, N.Y.) had a nice freshman campaign last season as he scored one goal and one assist to finish with three points, second most on the team. Seniors Sam Harris (Lakewood, Colo.) and Jonathan Roquemore (Rowlett, Texas) will be looked to demonstrate leadership to help the development of the younger players. Sophomores Jeremy Wagoner (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Justin Carrus (Halifax, Mass.) and Travis Zornoza (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) round out the midfield unit. Wagoner saw action in 16 games last year where he started 11 times.
Gallaudet's defensive unit is the other deep position for the Bison as three seniors litter the roster and hope to take the pressure off the team's goalies. Seniors Sean Ryant (Cleveland, Ohio) and Serge Okogo (Libreville, Gabon) return for their final season with the Bison and will head-up this unit. The duo is joined by fellow senior Joe Pfaff (Franklin, Ind.). Juniors Jacob Schlotthauer (Oshkosh, Wis.) and Josh Sechman (Palmyra, Pa.) are two tall pillars that can get up and deflect crosses into the box. Sophomore Wilson Velez III (Marlborough, Mass.) and freshman Ben Letendre (Marlborough, Mass.) will use their speed to help frustrate opponent offensive units.
One of the bright spots for the Bison last season was the play in goal by junior goalie Poloko Qobose (Gaborone, Botswana). In his second year with the Bison he started all 18 games where he logged over 1,600 minutes in net for the Buff and Blue. He made 214 saves (.606 percent) that led the CAC and ranks as the all-time single-season total in the history of the conference. Qobose will be the anchor of the defense but will need his teammates in front of him to help cut down on the shots allowed by opponents.
Gallaudet will be home most of the month of September before hitting the road in earlier October. GU gets things underway with back-to-back home games on September 2 against Washington Adventist and five days later against Potomac State. GU will play two more non-conference games, on the road, before it opens play in the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The first NEAC game will be a tough test against Penn St.-Harrisburg on September 18. That begins a five-game homestand where Gallaudet will play Southern Virginia (Sept. 22), Wells (Sept. 25), Keuka (Sept. 26) and Christendom (Sept. 29).
GU will hit the road in October as the Bison head north to New York to take on NEAC foes SUNY Cobleskill (Oct. 2) and SUNYIT (Oct. 3). Two days later the Bison make the short trip to Arlington, Va., to face former CAC foe Marymount (Va.) University. Coach Gendive and his crew will play three of the next four games at home including games against Lancaster Bible (Oct. 7), Morrisville State (Oct. 16) and Cazenovia (Oct. 17). The Bison will hit the road against on Oct. 23-24 to face Penn St.-Berks and Penn St.-Abington, respectively. Homecoming Weekend features a Friday night game for the Bison against Salem International University from West Virginia on Oct. 29 at 5 p.m.
Fans of the Gallaudet men's soccer program have to be encouraged by the number of players on this year's team and the nice balance and mix of upperclassmen and rookies. Currently there are 20 players on the team led by seven seniors and three juniors while six sophomores and four freshmen add a lot of energy and enthusiasm for a program ready to start building up in a new conference and with the coach that knows what it takes to win at Kendall Green.