The Shippensburg University men’s soccer team finished its season going 5-9-2, with a 2-6-1 conference record.
The Raiders went back a step this season, after back-to-back years reaching the NCAA playoffs. SU, which had 23 returning players from last year’s squad, looked to push further into the tournament in 2012.
SU struggled this season, losing seven of its games by one goal. The team saw nine seniors play their final game this year as the Raiders lost a tough 2-0 decision against California University of Pennsylvania last Saturday Oct. 27th on Senior Day.
SU started the season rough, not being able to reach its second win until October. The Raiders did manage to go 4-3 down the stretch and look to build off of that heading into next season. The team lost lead scorer Sam Talbot who scored seven goals and racked up 17 points and 42 shots to also lead the team.
The other major contributors on offense are all returning for next season. Oli Templeton, who again led another great campaign on offense managed 40 shots this year scoring three goals.
Also, junior Jonathan DeNicola had a great season with five goals and 11 points. Along with freshman Derek Adams, who saw some significant playing time, appeared in 13 games, started six and added two goals.
SU lost two goalkeepers this year in Clay Sale and Andrew Foran. Both keepers saw significant action in their careers with Sale being a force for SU during the 2010 season when they became PSAC champs. Sophomore goalkeeper Kevin Hollasch led the team in saves with 38 starting six games. This experience should prepare him for next season.
An intense defense for SU seemingly slowed this season allowing 29 goals compared to the 17 they gave up last year. Seniors Austin Hill, Joe Nixon and Alex Supplee were vocal leaders on the team the past few seasons. Hill, named to the PSAC and NSCAA First Team will be sorely missed.
SU had a rough go this season, not being able to come through on close games.
The Raiders had injuries to players such as senior Simon Neubauer who was a major impact on the team in the 2010 season, and looked to be a force in the midfield.
SU should be able to take this season as a lesson that nothing is ever guaranteed.
They have some work to do, but with Templeton, DeNicola, and also 2011-2012 year’s scoring leader sophomore Chris Black, the Raiders should be another threat to contend next season. SU will look to make another NCAA run in the future.