2013 Men's Soccer Season Preview
Hagerstown, Md. -The 2013 Hagerstown Community College men’s soccer team will look to build on their accomplishments last year, in an attempt to produce the most successful season in program history.
“This team has a special feel to me,” said head coach Brian Eichelberger. “We have good talent and depth, and I think the preseason training is bringing us together and this could turn into a very memorable season.”
The team will feature experienced leadership, as they return eight players who led the Hawks to a 13 win season in 2012. Eichelberger recognizes the dedication each of these players has given to the program and they are eager to add to their already accomplished careers.
In the back, Hagerstown returns sophomores Aaron Rodgers (Funkstown, Md./South Hagerstown) and Kwasi Ofosu Ameyaw (Accra, Ghana/South Hagerstown). Freshmen Dillon Eyler (Thurmont, Md./Catoctin) and Jacob Hargett (Myersville, Md./Middletown) will round out the defensive side. “Aaron and KB are seasoned defenders that bring experience, while Jacob and Dillon have made excellent strides in the preseason to secure a starting role,” stated Eichelberger.
As is the case with most teams, games will be won and lost in the midfield and Eichelberger is excited about the group that he’ll send out to the pitch in 2013. HCC will feature a midfield full of captains, as sophomore Ruben Ayllon (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) will combine with freshmen Yusuf Bodirov (Krasnodar, Russian/North Hagerstown) and Akheem Riley (Kingston, Jamaica/Thomas Johnson). “Ruben is a versatile player for us” said Eichelberger. “His maturity and commitment makes him one of the most focused players to have come through our program. Akheem is an accomplished player who brings excellent experience with one of the top club teams in the area. He possesses a serious threat to opposing defenders and we expect him to be one of the best players in MDJUCO. Yusuf brings vocal leadership and the skills necessary to be a dangerous college soccer player. We are fully confident in their abilities and can’t wait to see them compete together,” quoted Eichelberger.
Along with the captains, the Hawks have plenty of depth across in the middle, as sophomores Bobby Matusek (Frederick, Md./Middletown), Bradley Coblentz (Middletown, Md./Middletown) and Matt Suddith (Hagerstown, Md./South Hagerstown) will all see playing time right away. The trio combined for 24 points, from 10 goals and four assists last season. Freshman Leland Creadick (Myersville, Md./Middletown) is poised to make an immediate impact as well, while classmates Andre Kirlew (Martinsburg, W.Va./North Hagerstown), and Patrick Creadick (Myersville, Md./Middletown) will all be called upon in games to provide assistance in the midfield.
With the graduation of goalkeeper Chucky Kipe, who finished #2 in the nation in saves, the Hawks are looking for someone new between the pipes. Sophomore Brandon Wingfield (Hagerstown, Md./South Hagerstown) who participated in three games last year will compete with transfer sophomore Adam Carrier (Cumberland, Md./Calvary Christian Academy) and freshman Ethan Waters (Martinsburg, W.Va./Hedgesville). Carrier is a 2011 Second-Team All-MDJUCO honoree with Allegany College of Maryland, while Waters was named West Virginia All-State his senior year.
Up front, the Hawks are looking for a goal scorer, after graduating Genc Sopa, an All-American nominee, who led MDJUCO with 14 goals. Freshmen Jonah Smith (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro) and Jusseth Velazquez (Frederick, Md./Frederick) are the front runners who will called upon to lead the attack. Velazquez was a Frederick County All-Area performer last season after netting 14 goals, while Smith is transfer from Shippensburg Unversity.
Joining Velazquez and Smith will be sophomore Alfred Aneyu (Toga, West Africa/South Hagerstown), who participated in seven games in 2012.
Hagerstown expects to be in the mix for the Region XX, Division I Championship. Eichelberger recognizes though that there will be no easy game for the Hawks this season. “The MDJUCO and Region XX are extremely competitive every year, so we need to go out each game and hopefully take care of business,” stated Eichelberger. “We created an excellent foundation last year and the returners will build on that and make a run at producing the most successful back-to-back seasons.”