2014 William Penn Men’s Soccer Preview
2013 record: 10-8-2 (1-4-1 MCC, 5th)
Starters returning/lost: 5/6
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/12
Angelo Kelly Jr. Ottumwa, Iowa
(Honorable-mention all-MCC, 6 goals, 7 assists)
Mason Bandy Sr. Calgary, Alberta
(2.26 Goals Against Average, 24 saves, 1 shutout)
Francis Koroma So. Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Santos Ortiz Jr. Cocula, Mexico
Edenilson Guerrero Fr. Houston, Texas
Andrew Valett Jr. Davenport, Iowa
Randolph Tamba So. Firestone, Liberia
Will a large quantity of players result in a large quantity of wins? The William Penn men’s soccer team hopes so as it ventures back onto the turf in 2014.
The Statesmen, who are over 40-plus deep, went 10-8-2 (1-4-11 MCC) last season and advanced to the Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament semifinals for the second year in a row. But this fall’s unofficial program motto is ‘Finals or Bust’ as WPU seeks to take another step closer to a league title.
2013 honorable-mention all-MCC selection Angelo Kelly (Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Physical Education) returns to headline the offensive attack, while Mason Bandy (Sr., Calgary, Alberta, Biology), who was an all-MCC pick two years, is back to full strength and should pose problems in the defensive net.
Francis Koroma (So., Brooklyn Park, Minn., General Accounting) will pace up top after tying Kelly for the 2013 squad high with six goals.
He will be complemented in the forward position by newcomers Andrew Valett (Jr., Davenport, Iowa, Undecided) and Randolph Tamba (So., Firestone, Liberia, Information Technoloygy).
Kelly sparked the Statesmen offense in so many ways, posting team bests in goals (6) and assists (7) in last year’s honorable-mention campaign.
Newcomers Santos Ortiz (Jr., Cocula, Mexico, Business Management), Edenilson Guerrero (Fr., Houston, Texas, Mechanical Engineering), and Yordan Rivera (Jr., Bothell, Wash., Physical Education) have the talent and drive to also keep possession in William Penn’s favor.
The backline will be the deepest in regards to returning numbers. A healthy Ben Creeger (Phoenix, Ariz., Business Management) will be a welcome sight as the junior was sidelined for about half of 2013 with injury.
Milo Bruce-Burgess (Sr., Brockenhurst, England, Physical Education) has been transitioned to the defense after scoring two goals with two assists as a wing last season.
Austin Ryan (Sr., Parkersburg, Iowa, Business Management) will also provide a punch after playing in nearly every game in his junior campaign (four starts).
A banged-up Bandy appeared in just six matches in 2013, going 2-3-1 with a 2.26 Goals Against Average (one shutout). In his absence, Pedro Pereira (So., Sao Paolo, Brazil, Communications) performed admirably and will provide a stellar backup if Bandy finds himself unable to suit up. Pereira was 8-5-1 (three shutouts) with a 1.83 GAA as a freshman.
The navy and gold begin their campaign in the Hoosier State against Purdue-Calumet on August 23. Do not fear Statesmen Nation, as WPU will be in Oskaloosa plenty in 2014 as it hosts half of its 18 contests at Lacey Complex Stadium. Preparing his team for the transition to the Heart of America Athletic Conference next year, Martinez has scheduled five HAAC opponents during a challenging non-conference slate.
Grand View finished the 2013 regular season as the NAIA’s #1 team, and while the Vikings lost in the round of 16, the setback will likely only fuel their desire to get back to the top, possibly making life extremely difficult on the rest of the MCC. St. Ambrose, AIB, Mount Mercy, and William Penn figure to give GVU all it can handle this fall.