2016 Men's Soccer Season Preview

2016 Men's Soccer Season Preview

Oh Captain, My Captains
Seniors Vinny Morra (East Setauket, N.Y.), Michael Spanos (Waterford, Conn.) and TJ Zirkman (Freehold, N.J.) were named captains for the 2016 season. "All three seniors have played important roles in our team since their first season our staff is looking forward to working with them as our team leaders in the fall," said O'Toole.

The Slate Ahead
A daunting schedule awaits the Scarlet and White in 2016. They play six of their first nine games away from home and then have road contests against Babson and Wheaton – the two top teams in the preseason NEWMAC coaches' poll – and against the nation's No. 9 team Brandeis. Clark opens the home portion of its schedule on Wednesday, September 14 against former assistant coach Charles Metz and Colby-Sawyer. Metz was named head coach of the Chargers in July.

Youth Movement
The 2016 edition of Clark men's soccer will feature a host of newcomers, including 10 new freshmen, meaning 14 members of their 25-man roster are underclassmen.

Blais Of Glory
Back for his senior campaign is exciting striker Zack Blais (Tiverton, R.I.). As a junior, Blais was named NEWMAC Player of the Week on one occasion and earned second-team all-league honors at the end of the season. He led the team in goals scored (6) and points (13) and was a candidate for the University's Male Athlete of the Year. "Blais is electric in one on one situations and will be in a position this year to help our team compete in every game," said O'Toole.

Two Heads
In 2015, the Cougars used a two goalkeeper system with Alistair Richardson (Tolland, Conn.) and Connor Maguire (Dunstable, Mass.). That duo had some success as individuals, with Richardson posting a pair of shutouts in his five starts and Maguire finishing fourth in the conference in total saves (58).

One To Watch
Junior Ethan Ziemba (Glen Gardner, N.J.) has been a mainstay on the Cougars' backline since his arrival in 2014 and that fact doesn't look like it will change. He has started all 36 games of his career. "Ethan has arrived in preseason camp and is all business as usual," said O'Toole. "He crushed our fitness test requirements testing and will be a stalwart defender for us for the third year in a row."

He Said It
"Our 2016 campaign will be successful by taking each game one at a time, continue to build our consistently though all facets of our game plan," said O'Toole. "Ultimately, through achieving these two elements week in and week out we will be competing in the NEWMAC postseason tournament in November."