The Hiram College men’s soccer team will look to take a step forward after a tough 2013 season. The Terriers posted a 5-13-1 record in 2013, with a 2-7-0 mark in NCAC play.
Second year head coach Dan Zemanski has high hopes heading into 2014. Zemanski welcomes back an experienced squad.
The Terriers will be led by senior Andy Harding (Akron/Revere) and senior Ryan Kramarz (Chesterland/West Geauga). Harding returns after missing the majority of 2013 with an injury. In 2012, he earned Second Team All-NCAC and Second Team All-Great Lakes Region honors after scoring 13 goals. Kramarz finished the 2013 campaign with two goals and a team-high four assists.
“It is great to have Andy back as one of our leaders,” said Zemanski. “He sets the tone for us. He leads by his actions instead of his words and I think our guys will follow.”
The junior class will be led by Tanner Mathews (Alliance/Marlington). In his first season for the Terriers, Mathews earned Honorable Mention All-NCAC accolades in 2013. Richie Webb (Alicante, Spain/Laude Lady Elizabeth School) is back after scoring four goals. Also back are juniors Andrew Bradley (Westlake/St. Edward), Alec Culbertson(Mogadore/Field) and Matt Sacher (Akron/Coventry), all of whom saw significant playing time last season. Tom Monah (Lyndhurst/Brush), Nnamdi Obi (Akron) and Ryan Zittel(Sheboygan, Wis./Kohler Senior) also return and will compete for playing time.
“With such a small senior class, we will turn to these juniors to also lead us,” added Zemanski. “This is a talented group that brings a lot of different things to the table.”
The sophomore class is the biggest on the team and features a strong group of returners that saw significant playing time as freshman. Jake Pastore (Canton/GlenOak) andVaal Ngalla (Columbus/St. Charles Prep) played in 19 and 18 games in their first season, respectively. Zac Cairns (North Olmsted/St. Edward) registered two goals in 2013 and Santiago Montano (Woodlands, Tex./The Woodlands College Park) saw action in 18 contests last season. Also returning for HC is Rusty Banks (Warren/Champion), David Grimwood (Hubbard), Chris Lindemeyer (Lodi/Cloverleaf), Danny Mujica (Elkhart, Ind./Concord), John Pretzlav (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) and Neil Zook (Doylestown/Chippewa).
“Several starters return for us in the sophomore class,” said Zemanski. “They came in and played from day one last season and grew as the season went along. We expect them to continue develop in their second seasons.”
A talented group of freshman also enter in and will push for playing time. Quinn Galecki (Lancaster), Josh Lubich (Nile/John F. Kennedy), Peterson Occillien (Columbia, S.C./Blythewood) Keilab Russell (Slidell, La./Northshore), Austin Vingle (Warren/Warren G. Harding), Kyle Watson (Warren/Howland) and Luke Wilhelm (Shaker Heights/University School) all enter and will look to contribute right away.
“We have a quality freshman class,” added Zemanski. “They will push for playing time and will complement the players that we have returning to the team.”
Hiram will open its season on August 29 and August 30 at the Herb Lauffer Memorial Tournament hosted by Penn State Behrend. The Terriers will return home and open their home season on September 5 against St. John Fisher (N.Y.). Other home non-conference contests include Heidelberg, John Carroll and Otterbein, while road games are at Franciscan and Case Western Reserve.
“Our non-conference schedule is very tough,” said Zemanski. “Every game we have out of conference will be a challenge. We will use it as a springboard to help us prepare for the conference season.”
Hiram opens NCAC play on September 20 with a home game against DePauw (Ind.). The Terriers close out the NCAC and regular season on November 1 against national power Ohio Wesleyan.
“Our conference is one of the best in the country,” added Zemanski. In order to become the best, we need to beat the best. We will be ready to go out and compete from the first whistle.”