Men's Soccer Hosts Pair Of Weekend Home Games To Open 2013 Season

Men's Soccer Hosts Pair Of Weekend Home Games To Open 2013 Season

Claremont, Calif. - The defending SCIAC champion Pomona-Pitzer Men's Soccer team opens its 2013 season this weekend when it hosts Carthage on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Sagehens are coming off one of their best seasons in school history a year ago, when they won 11 straight games to capture the SCIAC championship before finishing 14-5-1. However, they must replace three All-Region players in goalkeeper Rollie Thayer, center back Erik Munzer and midfielder Robbie Hull, who graduated off last season's team, as well as dynamic attacking midfielder Danny Nasry.

In addition, Head Coach Bill Swartz is on sabbatical in 2013 while working with the youth program at Tottenham Hotspur in England. Although he is leaving the program in very capabale hands, as interim head coach Dan Sheridan has been assisting the program for the last 10 years and has a wealth of experience, dating back to his playing days as a standout goalkeeper for Loyola Marymount.

Pomona-Pitzer utilized a balanced offense last year with 13 different goal scorers and it has many of its key offensive weapons back. Junior midfielder/forward Nathan Shekita was the top scorer last season with seven goals and six assists for 20 points, and fellow junior Arash Mahboubi was an All-SCIAC center midfielder. 

Up front, junior Lawrence McDonald (pictured) figures to be among the team's top scoring weapons this season after tallying four goals and adding two assists, while fellow junior Avery Raimondo will have an important role as well after tallying two goals and tying for second on the team with four assists last year. Senior Ian Maier has a wealth of experience as well, and saw some action as a lone forward in a 4-5-1 alignment last year.

Defensively, junior Nigel Brady saw ample playing time behind Thayer last season and is poised to take over the starting goalkeeper role. Senior Drew Lind will have an important leadership role as either a center back or a defensive midfielder, while junior Geordie Marriner will be entering his third season as a starting center back. Senior captain Ryan Miller will be unavailable this season due to injury, but Paul Picciano emerged as a starting outside defender in the second half of last season and could hold down a similar role this fall. Senior Devin Gilliam or sophomores Graham Barlow and Michael Cork could emerge as important members of the back line as well.

Senior Harris Levin tallied three goals and four assists last season as a reserve midfielder and could add some additional experience to the midfield unit this season, while fellow senior Michael Ceragioli will continue to be a versatile attacking weapon with his speed on the outside. 

The Sagehens have a deep recruiting class coming in with 11 freshmen and one new junior starting preseason camp. Several of the newcomers will need to contribute right away in order to replenish the depth left from the graduated members of last year's championship squad.

Pomona-Pitzer has its first five games at home this season. After facing Carthage and Wisconsin-Oshkosh this weekend, the Sagehens will host UC Santa Cruz on Tuesday and then open SCIAC play with home games on Sept. 9 against La Verne and Sept. 11 against local rival CMS.