2001 Men's Soccer
2001 bc preview
Five seniors set to lead Bluffton into 2001 seasonBy Scott Van Eman, SID Assistant
August 14, 2001
The 2001 men's soccer team returns a team of familiar faces. With five seniors and sixteen upper-classmen ready to lead and a core of talented young players providing depth, Bluffton looks to move up in the Heartland Conference this season.
Without much experience on the team last season, just one senior and fourteen upper classmen, many young players found themselves contributing on the field. Six of BC's top ten scorers were below the junior level including two freshmen. Last year freshman Diego Rodriguez scored a team high eight goals for the Beavers.
"The strength of this year's team will be in our experience," said head coach Randy Keeler, noting the leadership and experience of his five seniors, Kevin Wittman, Luke Archer, Mark Stutzman, T.J. Chapman, and Josh Sauder.
"The key to us being successful will be in our defense," said Keeler, and that responsibility will be shouldered by defensive specialists Wittman and Chapman, who each chipped in a goal for the Beavers last season with Wittman also adding an assist. Leading the way in the forward position will be Luke Archer who played in all 18 games and provided one assist for the team.
Mark Stutzman put together another excellent year finishing the season with four goals and a team leading four assists. Stutzman's four assists ranked 8th in the HCAC and his 12 points were second best on the team. Stutzman received first team All-HCAC honors as well as being named first team Academic All-Ohio by the OCSA. Stutzman was one of 19 players to receive the honor and the only player from the HCAC. Stutzman has tallied 25 career points in his three years for the Beavers.
"Our scoring ability also fell off a bit from the year before," said Keeler, "but I expect that to be better with the returning players who proved they can score." Leading the way on the scoring end will be Diego Rodriguez, a first team All-HCAC selection last season. Rodriguez recorded eight goals and two assists last season for a total of 18 points. Rodriguez also made his mark in the HCAC finishing 8th in scoring and 5th in goals scores. Other key returners from last season include Andrew Hornblower (2 goals, 2 assists), Ryan Zeman (1 goal), and Matt Plank (1 assist). Bluffton also returns their starting goalie Derek Stemen who recorded 84 saves and one shutout last season.
Bluffton starts the season off at home, facing off against Rochester at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 1, at the Sears Athletic Complex.