Fall Preview: Men's Soccer
WILMORE, Ky. – Asbury University men’s soccer is set to kick-off their season on Tuesday when they travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., to play the Cougars of the University of Saint Francis. This season starts another campaign for the Eagles in a quest to make it to the NAIA Tournament.
“Essentially, we have been just one goal away from making the national tournament each of the past two years,” head coach Ben Andrews said. “These guys know what is expected out of them, and they understand what goals we have this season.”
Andrews, who enters his fourth season with Asbury, was referring to the 3-2 loss to Roberts Wesleyan in 2011 and the 5-4 loss to Point Park a season ago.
“Our goal is to make the NAIA tournament and I think we have a group of guys that can certainly accomplish that,” Andrews added.
All the information for the upcoming year will only be right here on AsburyEagles.com!
Last Season in Wilmore
A year after the Eagles posted a program-best number of wins in a season (14) in program history they returned in 2012 with another 12 wins. The 12 wins from 2012 pushed their combined record over the past two seasons to 26-13-4—the second-best two-season stretch in program history.
The 2012 season also turned out to be one where the Eagles would look toward 2013 still in search of their fourth KIAC Championship. The Eagles’ 5-4 loss to Point Park in the KIAC Finals thwarted the Eagles’ chances of repeating as back-to-back champions.
This season the Eagles are excited and ready for their chance to get back to the top of the conference.
Though last season ended on somewhat of a sour note for the Eagles, there was plenty to appreciate on the offensive side of the pitch. One of the Eagles’ most prolific scoring tandems in team history—Trent Popp and Jonathan Rehner— led the Eagles to 77 goals in 2012. Popp became the all-time leading scorer for the Eagles, ending his career with 50 goals.
But this season, Popp and Rehner are gone, along with their combined six all-KIAC selections. Coach Ben Andrews will be looking to his returning scorers and new faces to produce offensively.
Garrett Davis, Jesse Peterson, and Adam Howard all return in the offensive end. Davis found the back of the net 10 times in 2012—none more notable than his 88th-minute, game-winning tally in the KIAC semifinal game against Brescia. He also added four helpers. Davis’ 10 tallies were second only to Popp’s 16 last season.
Peterson and Howard also bring their scoring prowess back to the offensive end for the Eagles. Peterson and Howard put up a combined 35 points a season ago on 14 goals and seven assists.
Newcomer Austin O’Brien, a transfer from Howard University, will be looked on to try to pick up some slack left in the holes created by Popp and Rehner’s departures. O’Brien appeared in 27 games for the Bison and recorded an assist out of the midfield in 2011.
Four-year all-KIAC goalkeeper Dylan Fouts has departed. Three-time All-KIAC defender Randy Troyer is gone. The Eagles will hope to fill the holes created with a barrage of young, but talented players.
Hunter Dean and Stephen Mitchell, who started 19 of 20 games last season in the back end, return for their junior seasons. Dean and Mitchell were instrumental in helping the Eagles hold opponents to just 1.75 goals per game in 2012, including three shutouts.
Griffin Appel (four starts in 2012) may be given the starting nod in goal after posting a 2-1 record in 2012 with a .706 save percentage behind Fouts. However, newcomer Phil McGaughey and returners Nick Grounds and John Burns will vie for playing time this preseason.
What to Watch For
The Eagles’ opening weekend will include an unusual opponent in the University of Saint Francis. The Eagles will travel to Fort Wayne, Ind., to open their season against an opponent they have played just one other time in the past five years—that game ended in a 1-0 Asbury victory.
The Eagles will get a 10 day break following their first game before playing three-straight at home against Kentucky Wesleyan, Trevecca Nazarene, and Indiana Institute of Technology.
The Eagles don’t get a taste of conference action until 9/24 when they travel to take on Brescia in Owensboro. The Eagles finish out their conference schedule with games against Berea (10/1), Point Park (10/12), and Cincinnati Christian (10/15) three games prior to the conclusion of the season.
After visiting CCU on 10/15 the Eagles finish out the season with three straight home games—Campbellsville University, University of Pikeville, and Georgetown College.
Ben Andrews enters his fourth season at the helm of the men's soccer program in 2013. After tying a school record with 14 wins in 2011, Andrews' squad put together a 12-7-1 season in 2012. The Eagles advanced to the KIAC finals but fell just short of the fourth title in program history.
Andrews enters the season with a career record of 29-23-7.
Assistant coaches Nathan Andrews, Zach Derr, and James Bricken all return for to the sideline to assist in coaching duties for the Eagles.