2007 MEN'S SOCCER SEASON PREVIEW
08/27/07...The Pitt Johnstown Mountain Cats are looking to build on last season’s successful campaign as they officially begin play in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Head Coach Eric Kinsey’s (8th Season) returns 15 returning letter winners, seven incoming freshmen and a pair of transfer student-athletes. Joining Kinsey on his coaching staff this year are assistant coach Brian Galiote (1st season) and former four-year letter winner James Penn. The Mountain Cats have set their sights on the WVIAC conference tournament as they prepare for the 2007 season. This year’s schedule features 18 matches, 11 of which are at home, including the Kick-Off Classic over Labor Day weekend.
While this year’s graduating class is small, Coach Kinsey is expecting plenty of contribution from his three seniors. Defender Marc Myszak (West Chester, Pa.) and midfielder Alex Gatti (Indiana, Pa.) will start for the Mountain Cats, as will forward Chris Hawkins (Scottdale, Pa.), who will look to continue to find the back of the net after scoring a team-high 12 goals in 2006.
Juniors Ben Sera (North Huntingdon, Pa.) and Vince Spillane (Pittsburgh, Pa.) will resume their duties as team captains. Sera will take his place in the Mountain Cat midfield where he can use his attacking skills to enhance the Pitt-Johnstown scoring attack. In an off-season move, Spillane will shift to the center back position to help solidify Pitt Johnstown’s defense.
Players to Watch
Sophomore Craig Neff (Elizabethtown, Pa.) returns in goal following a successful freshmen season that saw him record a 6-8-1 record and a 2.00 goals-against average. Transfer Michael LoPresti (Karns City, Pa.) will battle Neff for time between the pipes. Along with Myszak and Spillane, Coach Kinsey will rely on defenders Phil Belcastro (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Joe Cronan (Indiana, Pa.), Josh Godish (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Reece Selzer (South Park, Pa.) to anchor the Pitt-Johnstown backline. Freshman Brian Taslov (Robinson, Pa.) will also push for playing time as the season progresses.
Midfielders Gatti, Sera, Shane Hejmanowski (Dillsburg, Pa.), and transfer Nik Buchta (Mount Pleasant, Pa.) will provide support for the defense and aid in the Pitt-Johnstown scoring attack. Andy Griffin (Dillsburg, Pa.), J.P. Schantz (Nazareth, Pa.), Jimmy Martin (Washington, Pa.) and Kyle Kiralfy (Lancaster, Pa.) will also look to contribute to the Mountain Cats’ midfield during their freshmen season.
A triple threat of attacking options returns for Pitt-Johnstown in Hawkins, Jay Swope (Indiana, Pa.), and Arik Misler (Johnstown, Pa.). The three combined for 27 goals last season en route to leading the Mountain Cats to a final season ranking of 11th in the nation in NCAA Division II scoring. Returning forward Cory Winwood (Harwick, Pa.) will also look to be in the mix as Pitt-Johnstown hopes to continue its offensive prowess from a season ago.