With the start of the 2013 season just days away, Denison Head Men's Soccer Coach Rob Russo believes his team depth will set the Big Red up for another North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament run.
Denison's biggest strength will be in the midfield where they have a solid group of veterans and rookies. Back to anchor that middle of the pitch are seniors Blake Miller, Bob Casarona and Jamie Wagner, along with juniors Mark Waterman and Evan Porter. Miller compiled a team-best six goals and 13 points in eight games before suffering a season-ending injury. Casarona started all 17 games a year ago, scoring three goals and adding three assists. Like Miller, Wagner suffered an injury that cut his season short.
Waterman earned honorable mention All-NCAC honors after scoring four times and dishing out a team-best five assists in 17 games. Porter started seven of 14 games and registered one goal.
Senior Charlie Allen has been a pleasant surprise as he enters his final season in Granville. After appearing in nine games a year ago, Allen has made a serious push for playing time with a solid preseason. Also pushing the core group of midfielders are freshmen Mike Bonderud, Kennedy Kommor, Henry Pohlman and Connor O'Neill-Dee.
The Big Red attack this season will feature a pair of rookies in Quinn Miller and Kyle Skinner. Both first-year players have demonstrated that they are ready to play at the collegiate level. Quinn's older brother, Blake, and Wagner will also provide depth up top.
For the third season in a row, the DU backline will be anchored by John and Will Krentz. The senior duo will start in the middle of Russo's defense. Will scored four goals and added one assist, while John received honorable mention all-conference accolades.
Flanking the Krentz twins will be sophomore Ryan Fine and freshman Cameron Boone. Fine, who started 15 of 17 matches, will resume his role at right back. In his rookie campaign, he scored one goal and added two assists. Boone earned the job at left back after a strong preseason. Adding depth to the backline are junior Collin Hockenbury, sophomore Jake Marsh and freshman Matt Citrin. Hockenbury appeared in all 17 matches last year, making seven starts, while Marsh played in 12 games.
Back between the pipes for the fourth-consecutive season is senior Matt Wagner. Last season, Wagner started 15 matches in goal, posting a 1.59 goals-against average with 51 saves and two shutouts. Backing up Wagner will be sophomore Blake Schach, who made one start last season. Also adding depth to the goalkeeper position are junior Andrew Stewart and freshman Andrew Shediac.
Denison kicks off the 2013 season on Friday (Aug. 30) when they host Washington & Lee at 7:30 p.m. on Barclay-Thomsen Field. A live video broadcast of the Big Red's season opener will be provided by the Denison Sports Network.