2004 Men's Soccer
Beavers use good off-season to excel on the field
By Bill Hanefeld, Sports Information Intern
August 26, 2004
Second year head coach Steve Smucker looks to improve on the
This team worked extremely hard during the off-season in preparation for 2004. Throughout November and December the men stayed in shape by participating in open gyms and trained at the BlufftonFamilyRecreationCenter in an effort to continue building the sense of team that was forged in the fall of 2003. After following a detailed strength and conditioning program at the completion of the 2003 season the team will be much stronger on the field in 2004.
"With such a large group of freshman, leadership from the upperclassmen is going to be the key," Smucker said. "How fast the new athletes can learn and adapt to our system of play," was another concern that Smucker voiced.
With the return of the entire 2003 starting defense and the addition of many new players, Smucker may look to employ a more up tempo defending style. Seniors Matt Beechy (Winesburg/Hiland) and Mike Moore (Naperville, Ill./Charlotte) will be joined in the backfield by junior David Lanka (PlainCity/ Jonathon Alder). Sophomore Ryan Thomas (Jamestown/Greenview) returns to the goal for the 2004 season. Junior Kevin Bicker (Wooster/Triway) adds depth at both defense and the goalkeeper position.
Returning forwards Dan Hershberger (Berlin/Hiland), Chad Perry (Dover/Dover), Rene Mejia (Defiance/Defiance), and Robert Rohrer (Millersburg/West Holmes) all bring experience and goal scoring ability to the front line of the Beaver offensive attack.
With the loss of four year All-HCAC midfielder Diego Rodriguez, returners Ricky Stoner (Worthington/Tree of Life), Colin Roynon (Archbold/Pettisville), Sean Bichsel (Plain City/Jonathon Alder) and Caspar Agyeman-Duah (Fairfield) will all be counted on to control the game on both ends of the field.
2004 looks to be an exciting year as the team will mix experienced upperclassmen with a large group of incoming freshman who are both athletic and talented.