Aug. 30, 2005
Clemson Soccer is undergoing many changes. With the loss of five starters and six letterwinners from the 2004 season, along with players recovering from injuries, the Tigers have a few holes to fill in preparation for the 2005 season.
However, with the addition of a great recruiting class and the maturation of the players from last season, Head Coach Trevor Adair is very optimistic about the prospects of the 2005 season.
With an excellent recruiting class and a solid core of returnees Adair feels that this year’s team will be a very deep and talented squad.
Observing the team this season, it could be labeled as a rebuilding year with 11 letterwinners and only six starters returning from the 2004 team that finished with an 8-9-1 record overall.
However, Adair doesn’t like the term rebuilding as he thinks the word is an excuse. He believes that this team will be a surprise in the league and the national scene.
“We will be much better than last year,” said Adair, who is entering his 11th season at Clemson. “I feel that we addressed many issues in our recruiting and took care of the holes that were there because of the loss of five starters.
“We will have better depth this season compared to last year. We were definitely hurt with the loss of Charlie Roberts and Ryan Roushandel. We were counting on both of them last year for goal scoring.
“I think that our depth issue will be put to rest as well with our recruiting class. On paper, this is one of two best recruiting classes we have had since I have been at Clemson. We have size and speed and leadership coming into Clemson this fall.”
Another issue that Adair was concerned about after the 2004 season was finishing. With so many close losses last year, Adair is confident that incoming players will help with this problem. The recruiting class of eight players include five transfers that will help with the depth and experience issue.
“Another big key this year is going to be how quickly our team becomes an unit. How quickly will they gel and develop chemistry? It is going to be different this year when we have people coming off the bench, because we aren’t going to lose the intensity or level of play.
“Last year we had to go through the season using smoke and mirrors. We had injuries to key players and as a result we had to move people around that created more holes. I know this sounds like excuses, and I don’t like excuses, but the fact remains, we simply ran out of players last year and had to rely on some freshmen who could have used a year’s experience.”
Goalkeepers Clemson has two-year starter Phil Marfuggi (Junior) returning in goal. Last season, he gave up 15 goals and had a 1.35 goal allowed average. He also finished the season with 31 saves.
“Marfuggi has matured with experience and we need him to have a complete, consistent year. He should be able to win the position and keep it. He works hard and has great ability. He needs to eliminate mistakes and again, this will come with experience. He needs to step forward his junior year and provide leadership to the defense.”
Jarrett Lewis (Sophomore) and Scott Rossman (Freshman) will also by vying for playing time in goal.
“Jarrett has made a lot of improvement despite that some major injuries. Jarrett will push Phil and hopefully get some games to prove how far he has come.”
Backs Clemson has many players and many different possible combinations in the back going into the 2005 season.
“We have a lot to choose from and a lot of depth giving us the ability to move some guys around. We have eight players who could play right away.”
Clemson has three starters returning in the back as Justin Moore (Senior), Nathan Sturgis (Sophomore) and Havird Usry (Junior) all return, although Moore will probably be moved to the midfield.
Moore is the Tigers’ leading returning scorer with three goals and four assists for 10 points. Sturgis started 17 matches and finished the year with three goals, including two that were game winners. Usry started 10 matches and had one goal and one assist for three points.
Sturgis played for the national team and according to Adair, he will be an “absolute key” player for the Tigers. “Sturgis can come forward and distribute and score goals.”
Jeff Routh (Red-Shirt Freshman), who saw substantial time in the spring, will be pushing for a starting role in the center of defense. Alan O’Hara, (Freshman) David Newton (Freshman), Bryson Moore (Freshman) and Andrew Bradum (Junior) are newcomers that could challenge for playing time in the back.
“O’Hara adds leadership and size in the back, as does David Newton. Both these guys, along with Jeff Routh, are outstanding in the air both on defense and on the attack.”
Midfielders Clemson again will have plenty of depth in the midfield and the luxury of having three starters returning in Brad Gibson (Senior), Mark Buchholz (Sophomore) and Moore.
Gibson had two assists last season and started all 18 matches for the Tigers. He has played in 61 career matches. Buchholz was a starter for the Tigers last season and finished the year with one goal. He started 16 matches as a freshman.
“Gibson, Moore, and Buchholz are mainstays in the midfield. With these players returning, along with Micah Usry (Junior) and Dane Richardson (Freshman) coming in, we will have plenty of depth. We also have Hector Quintanar (Junior) returning this season. Moore will be an attacking midfield player and will be a great linking player for us.”
Also returning to the midfield are lettermen Danny Poe, Randy Albright and Greg Burana. “Greg proved in the spring that he can also score goals.”
Forwards Charlie Roberts (Senior) and Quintanar are the two returnees at the forward positions. Quintanar started seven matches in 2004 and had one goal and two assists for four points. Roberts started four matches and finished with one goal. His season was shortened due to an injury.
Richards will also play as a forward. “He has tremendous speed and goal scoring ability. He can really put the ball away in the final third.”
Another player returning after red-shirting his freshman season is Ryan Roushandel (Red-shirted Freshman). He was the leading goal scorer in the spring and has worked really hard over the summer.
“Roushandel will help us score goals and dominate in the air with his strength and size and that is what we have been lacking. He has an uncanny knack of finding the back of the net. We could have used him dearly last year. Roberts is also good in the air and with his back to the goal. Richards will also help us with his athleticism and goal scoring ability. I feel as though we have speed, good pace and experience in this area.”
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