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Central picked fourth in men’s soccer race

Men's soccer | Aug. 30, 2011

CEDAR RAPIDS—The Central College men’s soccer team is tabbed for fourth place in the Iowa Conference preseason coaches’ poll.

The Dutch, finishing just one game out of first place for a share of the 2010 crown, return 20 letterwinners including eight starters and four all-league honorees.

Central opens its season Thursday at home, tackling Elmhurst College (Ill.) at 5 p.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex.

Preview by Josh Schroeder, Iowa Conference director of information:

Five-time defending league champion and two-time national semifinalist Loras College is the coaches’ pick to win the 2011 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) men’s soccer title. The Duhawks received six of eight available first-place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own team) and were named second on the two remaining ballots, totaling 70 points in the IIAC Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll.

Wartburg College and University of Dubuque, which shared the 2010 title with Loras, were picked second and third, respectively. The Knights collected two first-place votes, four second-place votes, and two third-place votes for 64 points. The Spartans collected the final first-place vote along with three second-place and two third-place votes for 58 points. Central College edged Luther College, 50-48, for fourth place. The complete 2011 IIAC Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll follows: 

Rank   School (1st place votes)          Points  2010 Record
1          Loras (6)                                  70        16-7-1, 7-1-0 IIAC (21 pts.)
2          Wartburg (2)                            64        11-8-0, 7-1-0 IIAC (21 pts.)
3          Dubuque (1)                            58        15-5-0, 7-1-0 IIAC (21 pts.)
4          Central                                     50        13-5-0, 5-3-0 IIAC (15 pts.)
5          Luther                                      48        8-9-1, 4-4-0 IIAC (12 pts.)
6          Coe                                          37        8-9-1, 3-5-0 IIAC (9 pts.)
7          Simpson                                   30        5-12-0, 2-6-0 IIAC (6 pts.)
8          Buena Vista                             21        6-11-0, 1-7-0 IIAC (3 pts.)
9          Cornell                                     18        0-17-1, 0-8-0 IIAC (0 pts.)

New Coaches: Rick Isaacson, a three-time all-conference pick and the 2002 Iowa Conference MVP at Luther, is the new head coach at Simpson. He replaces Mike Wilson, who resigned after six seasons at the helm. Isaacson comes to Simpson after serving as the head boys’ soccer coach at Ankeny (Iowa) High School for the past six years. He led the Hawks to a 110-25 record during his tenure, winning a Class 2A state title in 2007.

Iowa Conference Schedule: The season opens Thursday, September 1, with seven schools in action. The Iowa Conference schedule opens Saturday, September 24 with a complete schedule of four games.

Conference Tournament:  The top-six teams following the regular season round-robin schedule qualify for the 2011 Iowa Conference Tournament with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line. Two first-round matches will be Saturday, October 29. The semifinals will be held Wednesday, November 2, followed by the final on Saturday, November 5. All matches will be hosted by the higher seed.

Team-By-Team Preview:  A brief preview for each Iowa Conference team follows. 

Buena Vista University Beavers
6-11-0 overall, 1-7-0 IIAC (3 pts.; eighth)
Head Coach (season): Marc Baumbach (3rd)
Record at School (yrs): 7-27 (2)
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last):  n/a
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  n/a
Starters returning/lost –  7 / 4
Letterwinners returning/lost –  15 / 4
All-IIAC players returning – 0
All-IIAC hon. mention returning – 1 (Middlebrooks) 

Buena Vista returns seven starters and 15 letterwinners from last season’s 6-11-0 team that finished eighth in the Conference with three points and a 1-7-0 record. The Beavers will be led up front by a pair of midfielders – senior Eric Karita and junior Jerome Middlebrooks. Karita was the team’s second-leading scorer last season with nine points on four points and an assist. All but the assist came in league play, leaving Karita ranked tied for fifth in the IIAC in goals and tied for ninth in scoring. Middlebrooks, an all-IIAC honorable mention selection in 2009, played in 16 of 17 games last season, all of them starts, but failed to record a point on 11 shot attempts. He recorded seven points (3 goals, 1 assist) as a freshman.

The defense will be anchored by senior goalkeeper Dustin Dobbels, who led the league in saves last season with 45. Overall, Dobbels posted a 2.82 goals-against average with 101 saves and a .692 save percentage and also assisted on a goal offensively.

Buena Vista head coach Marc Baumbach says, "We expect to challenge for a spot in the conference playoffs this year and will achieve that goal by being competitive in each and every match this season. I think the same teams from last year will sit at the top of the standings again this year. The quality and experience that those teams have is very good and they will be tough to play against." 

Central College Dutch
13-5-0 overall, 5-3-0 IIAC (15 pts.; fourth)
Head Coach (season): Garry Laidlaw (14th)
Record at School (yrs): 132-99-13 (13)
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last):  n/a
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  n/a
Starters returning/lost –  8 / 3
Letterwinners returning/lost –  20 / 5
All-IIAC players returning – 4 (Fooshee-10, Peacock-10, McQuerry-09, Schroeder-09)
All-IIAC hon. mention returning – 0

Central returns eight starters and 20 letterwinners from last season’s 13-5-0 team that finished fourth in the Conference with 15 points and a 5-3-0 record. Gone is 2010 Iowa Conference MVP Brett McKenzie but among those eight returners are four all-conference players. Leading the Dutch offensively will be senior midfielder Jonathan Schroeder, a 2009 all-Iowa Conference second team pick who ranked second on the team in scoring last season with 14 points on six goals and two assists. Schroeder will be joined in the midfield by senior Leland Schipper and 2010 second team all-league pick Daniel Peacock, a sophomore. Schipper recorded a team-high five assists, including a league-leading four in IIAC play. Peacock added a pair of assists.

Senior backs K.J. McQuerry and Garrett Fooshee, second team all-IIAC picks in 2009 and 2010, respectively, will be the main cogs of a defense that allowed a league-low 14 goals last season and ranked second among league schools with a 0.78 goals-against average. Offensively, Fooshee recorded a goal and McQuerry added an assist.

Central head coach Garry Laidlaw says, “Last season’s title chase is a great indicator of just how competitive the conference has become. We expect much of the same this season and feel our team has all the ingredients needed to make a run at it as well.”

Coe College Kohawks
8-9-1 overall, 3-5-0 IIAC (9 pts.; sixth)
Head Coach (season): Homer Screws (10th)
Record at School (yrs): 52-79-14 (9)
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last):  n/a
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  n/a
Starters returning/lost – 9 / 2
Letterwinners returning/lost –  16 / 3
All-IIAC players returning – 2 (Frerichs-08-10, Johnson)
All-IIAC hon. mention returning – 0   

Coe returns nine starters and 16 letterwinners from last season’s 8-9-1 team that placed sixth in the league with nine points and a 3-5-0 record. Junior midfielder Jacob Johnson, a 2010 second team all-league pick, returns after posting 15 points on seven goals and an assist to lead the Kohawks in scoring for the second consecutive season. He ranked seventh among league players in both goals and assists and was third with his team-high four game-winning goals.

Juniors Reid Galbraith and Tom Wakeland will also figure in offensively. Galbraith tied for second on the team in scoring with six points on two goals and two assists, while Wakeland netted one goal – a game-winner.

The Kohawk defense will be led by senior netminder Grady Brown, who played in all 18 games a year ago with a 1.02 goals-against average and 62 saves while playing a part in seven shutouts. Brown ranked second among IIAC players with 6.8 shutouts. The presence of seniors Joe Frerichs, a two-time all-IIAC selection at defender, and David Schmitz will help relieve the pressure on Brown. Schmitz scored three goals last season to rank second on the team.

Coe head coach Homer Screws says, “Coe’s talent has matured and we expect to finish high in the standings this year. I’m confident we have the depth at each position to improve on last season’s playoff berth.”

Cornell College Rams
0-17-1 overall, 0-8-0 IIAC (0 pts.; ninth)
Head Coach (season): Andres Leza (2nd)
Record at school: 0-17-1 (1)
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last):  n/a
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  n/a
Starters returning/lost –  10 / 1
Letterwinners returning/lost –  15 / 4
All-IIAC Players returning – 0
All-IIAC hon. mention returning – 1 (Beehler-09-10)

Cornell returns 10 starters and 15 letterwinners from last season’s 0-17-1 team that placed ninth in the Conference with an 0-8-0 league mark. Leading the effort for the Rams in their final trip through the Iowa Conference will be a pair of forwards – senior Julian Peota and junior Alex Beehler. Peota started all 18 matches a year ago, notching a goal and an assist to rank third on the team with three points. Beehler, twice named all-IIAC honorable mention, was the team’s leading scorer in 2010 with five points on two goals and an assist on only seven shots. Sophomore midfielder Casey Gilbert scored one goal.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Sester played in 12 games a year ago, posting a 4.21 goals-against average, 94 saves, and a .712 save percentage. Playing in seven IIAC games, he ranked third in the league in saves (30) and fourth in saves per game (4.29).

Cornell head coach Andres Leza says, "We are still a very young team with only one senior in the starting 11. However we have added some much needed depth and speed of play to some key positions in the midfield and defense. I feel we will be competitive in every conference game and without a doubt will be battling for a spot in the conference tournament and hopefully get an upset or two along the way.”

University of Dubuque Spartans
15-5-0 overall, 7-1-0 IIAC (21 points; tri-champion)
Head Coach (season): Brad Johnson (3rd)
Record at School (yrs): 29-9-2 (2)
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last):  1 (2010)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  n/a
Starters returning/lost –  7 / 4
Letterwinners returning/lost –  18 / 6
All-IIAC players returning –  4 (McDonald-09-10, McKee-10, Martinez-09-10, Kasper-09)
All-IIAC hon. mention returning –  0

Dubuque returns seven starters and 18 letterwinners from last season’s 15-5-0 team that captured a share of the Iowa Conference title with 21 points and a 7-1-0 record. There are high expectations for the Spartans in 2011 as they return four all-IIAC players, including two of the league’s top offensive threats. Senior forward Pablo Martinez, a two-time all-league pick, led all UD players in scoring last season with 25 points on nine goals and seven assists, leading all IIAC players in assists (7), ranking second in points (25) and tying for third in goals (9). He also registered three game-winning goals. In league play, Martinez ranked sixth in points (9) and tenth in goals (3).

Junior defender Nick McDonald, also a two-time all-IIAC selection, ranked second on the team in scoring with 20 points on nine goals and two assists. He also had a team-high four game-winning goals. In league play, McDonald tied for the team league in goals (6) and goals per game (0.75) while ranking second in points (14) and game-winning goals (2). Sam McKee, a junior midfielder who was a second team all-league pick last season, ranked fourth on the team in scoring with 12 points on four goals and four assists.

Backstopping the Spartan effort will be senior goalkeeper Nick Kasper, a 2009 second team all-IIAC pick. Kasper played in 17 games a year ago, posting a 13-4-0 record with a 1.09 goals-against average, 47 saves and a .723 save percentage. He ranked fifth among league players in goals-against average and sixth in save percentage.

The Spartans, however, will be without the services of two-time first team all-IIAC midfielder Ryan Zurbuchen who will miss the season after suffering an injury. Zurbuchen totaled nine points on three goals and three assists with one game-winner last season.

Dubuque head coach Brad Johnson says, “The University of Dubuque men’s soccer team has high expectations entering the 2011 season. After being crowned the IIAC men’s soccer champions in 2010, the Spartans will look to an experienced class of returners and an eager class of newcomers to continue their successful ways. In total, the Spartans return 13 players who saw action in a varsity match during the 2010 season.” 

Loras College Duhawks
16-7-1 overall, 7-1-0 IIAC (21 points; tri-champion)
Head Coach (season): Dan Rothert (14th)
Record at School (yrs): 196-79-15 (13)
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last): 6 (2010)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  3 (2010)
Starters returning/lost –  5 / 6
Letterwinners returning/lost –  17 / 10
All-IIAC players returning – 2 (DuBois-07-08, Calbert-10)

All-IIAC hon. mention returning – 2 (St. George, Cavers)       Loras returns five starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s 16-7-1 team that captured a share of the school’s fifth straight conference title with 21 points and a 7-1-0 record, advancing to the third round (round of 16) of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship for the fourth consecutive season.

Senior forward Donald St. George, a 2009 all-IIAC honorable mention pick, returns after missing parts of the last two seasons with injuries. St. George played in only six games last season, scoring five points on two goals and an assist. St. George ranked fourth on the team in scoring in 2009 with 15 points on six goals and three assists. Also back for the Duhawks is sophomore midfielder Kevin Cavers. Cavers, a 2010 all-IIAC honorable mention pick, scored a pair of goals last season for four points.

Senior defender Malcolm Calbert, a first team all-IIAC pick last season, scored a pair of goals last season, including the game-winner in a 3-1 NCAA first round victory over Greenville. He was also an important piece in a defense that led all league schools in goals-against average (0.73) and tied for second in goals allowed (18).

Senior goalkeeper Nathan DuBois, a two-time all-IIAC selection who played a pivotal role in Loras’ back-to-back national semifinal appearances in 2007 and 2008, is back in the fold after spending the last two seasons at Division I Northern Illinois. DuBois was the national statistical champion in save percentage (.955) and ranked second in goals against average (.202) as a freshman in 2007.

Loras head coach Dan Rothert says, “Last year proved that the conference is as challenging as ever (three-way tie for regular season championship). We have a promising, young team that has goals of keeping our tradition of success going.” 

Luther College Norse
8-9-1 overall, 4-4-0 IIAC (12 pts.; fifth)
Head Coach (season): Chris Garcia-Prats (4th)
Record at School (yrs): 23-28-5 (3)
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last):  6 (2002)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  6 (1996)
Starters returning/lost –  9 / 2
Letterwinners returning/lost –  17 / 4
All-IIAC players returning – 2 (Olson-09, Kustra-10)
All-IIAC hon. mention returning – 1 (Fernandes)       

Luther returns eight starters and 17 letterwinners from last season’s 8-9-1 team that finished fifth in the Conference with 12 points and a 4-4-0 league mark. Senior goalkeeper Steve O’Meara will direct the defense. O’Meara appeared in all 18 games a year ago, posting a 4-9-1 record, a 1.06 goals-against average, 57 saves and a .760 save percentage. Senior defender Michael Olson, a 2009 second team all-league pick, will help keep some of the pressure off O’Meara. He also ranked third on the team in scoring after registering a trio of goals last season.

Senior midfielder Michael Kustra, a 2010 second team all-league pick and a 2011 co-captain (along with Olson), has started 52 of 55 matches during his career. Last season, he tied for fourth on the team in scoring with four points on one goal – a game-winner against St. Olaf – and two assists. Junior forward Mark Fernandes was an all-IIAC honorable mention selection last season after ranking second on the team in scoring with seven points off three goals and one assist. Two of Fernandes’ goals were game-winners in conference play (Simpson, Cornell).

Luther head coach Chris Garcia-Prats says, "We are extremely excited about the upcoming year and are looking forward to an unbelievable IIAC title race. There are so many teams that can go out and win the title. Our returning group along with an outstanding incoming recruiting class puts us in that hunt!”

Simpson College Storm
5-12-0 overall, 2-6-0 IIAC (6 pts.; seventh)
Head Coach (season): Rick Isaacson (1st)
Record at School (yrs): first season
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last):  1 (2000)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  1 (2000)
Starters returning/lost –  7 / 4
Letterwinners returning/lost –  10 / 8
All-IIAC players returning – 0
All-IIAC hon. mention returning – 0   

Simpson returns seven starters and 10 letterwinners from last season’s 5-12-0 team that finished seventh in the Conference with seven points and a 2-6-0 record. Junior midfielder/forward Jeremy Reinert tied for the team lead in scoring with 11 points on four goals and three assists, while fellow junior Mark Lahart posted seven points on a goal and a team-high five assists from his midfield position. Lahart also led the team with 40 shots and was credited with the game-winning goal against Bethel (Minn.)

Senior midfielder Bryan Michaelsen also started all 17 matches for the Storm in 2010 and was credited with 11 shots on goal. Senior defender Nate Van Horn started all 17 games last season, netting a pair of goals – including the game-winner against Millikin – on seven shots.

Simpson head coach Rick Isaacson says, “We enter the 2011 season prepared to usher in a new era of Simpson soccer. We are getting great leadership from our upperclassmen but we'll also rely heavily on some of our younger players for production. The Iowa Conference is going to be as competitive as ever this fall but we are embracing the challenge of competing against some of the region’s top competition.” 

Wartburg College Knights
11-8-0 overall, 7-1-0 IIAC (21 pts.; tri-champion)
Head Coach (season): Kirk Artist (2nd)
Record at School (yrs): 11-8-0 (1)
Career Record (yrs): same
IIAC Titles (last):  4 (2010)
IIAC Tourney Titles (last):  5 (2009)
Starters returning/lost –  3 / 9
Letterwinners returning/lost –  15 / 9
All-IIAC players returning – 2 (Brown, Cook)
All-IIAC hon. mention returning – 0   

Wartburg returns three starters and 15 letterwinners from last season’s 11-8-0 team that captured a share of the IIAC title with 21 points and a 7-1-0 record. The Knights return a pair of first team all-IIAC selections, one at each end of the field, in junior forward Brandon Cook and sophomore defender Bob Brown. Cook, who also earned honorable mention all-IIAC honors in 2009, ranked second on the team with 16 points on seven goals and two assists. In league play, Cook tied for the league lead in goals with six and ranked second in points with 14.

Brown scored seven points on one goal and a team-high five assists while leading a defense that ranked third in the league in goals allowed (7) and goals-against average (0.88). 

In the midfield, senior Nate Gottsacker returns after posting four points on one goal – a game-winner against Buena Vista – and two assists.

Wartburg head coach Kirk Artist says, “There will be several solid teams in the conference this year.”


Central College