NCC men’s soccer looks to bounce back with veteran core
By Rob Wollenzien For Sun-Times Media August 25, 2011 9:34PM
Senior midfielder Michael Curtis (right) will play a key role as North Central tries to bounce back after an injury-riddled season in 2010. | NCC photo
Updated: November 4, 2011 10:23AM
The North Central men’s soccer team featured eight different starting center midfielders last year and did not field the same lineup twice.
This season, the Cardinals can only hope injuries aren’t as prominent a part of their team as the players that dot the roster. Having key players on the field certainly can’t hurt following an injury-plagued 2010.
“We played very well but just couldn’t find our rhythm with so many guys out of the lineup because of injuries,” coach Matt Klosterman says.
He remains upbeat over the team’s chances for success this year, following a 5-10-3 showing a year ago that included an 0-6-1 mark in the CCIW.
“They’ve had a great offseason in the weight room, with conditioning, and they’ve really put in a lot of work for this season,” Klosterman adds.
He likes the veteran makeup of the group, saying, “We will have eight seniors this year and they’re all significant contributors.”
Two such players will be goalkeepers Phillip Klipp and Mike McEvoy. Both seniors are capable starters, with Klipp coming off an all-conference season in 2010. McEvoy started when both were freshmen but had back and knee surgeries during his freshman offseason.
Fellow senior Paul Box also will try to duplicate the form that saw him earn all-conference recognition last fall. The defender is also a graduate of Neuqua Valley.
Senior midfielder Michael Curtis and sophomore forward Jake Muszcynski join the ranks of returning players who will play key roles for the Cardinals this season.
UIC transfer and sophomore Sam Duffield (Marmion) could start, and fellow newcomers Alex Arias (midfield) Jonny Bren (utility player), Luke Habeeb and Jake Johnson (both wing attacks) and defender Drew Olehy bring depth as five promising freshmen.
The Cardinals open the season Sept. 2-3 at Wheaton College’s Bob Baptista Invitational.