Men’s Soccer Team Ready for 2005 Season

2005 Men's Soccer Preview
Release Date:
August 31, 2005
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

HAMBURG, NY – First-year Hilbert College men’s soccer coach Rick Couell is optimistic about his first season as a head NCAA Division III coach.  The former Hawks assistant coach knows the challenges that are ahead in the highly competitive Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) after last year’s team finished a disappointing 1-14 overall, and 0-9 in league play.

 The Hawks struggled to find the back of the net in 2004 and managed only 20 goals last season.  Couell will also be challenged to find a replacement for all-time leading scorer, Jacob Opala (’05) who graduated last spring.  Expect forward Dan Russell (Marilla, NY/Iroquois) to be the go-to-guy after finishing his sophomore season with five goals and six assists.  Incoming freshman Scott Lipman (Holland, NY/Holland) should also provide an offensive spark for the Hawks.

 Junior Captain Tim Jordan (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) returns at midfield where he scored six goals and was tied for first on the team in points (18) for the Hawks last fall.  Being counted on will be junior college transfer Joe Stantz (Jamestown, NY/Jamestown) and sophomore Robert Gerhard (Lakeshore, NY/Lakeshore), who started all 15 games last year. 

 The defense will rely on returning sophomore Pat Kane (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) who made nine starts last fall after recovering from an early season injury.  Adding support will be junior Josh Krupski (Marilla, NY/Iroquois) and senior Keeper Tom Cone (Rapid City, SD/Lincoln), who spent last fall studying abroad.  Freshmen defenders who will be counted on immediately include Josh Seely (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh) and Kirk Love (Hamburg, NY/Frontier).  The Hawks will need to improve upon their 5.27 goals allowed per game from a year ago.

 The coaching staff is excited about a recruiting class of nine freshmen that will press for playing time right away.  With a young group excited to erase the rebuilding label they’ve be given, expect the Hawks to keep things interesting come play-off time in the AMCC. 

 The 2005 season gets underway on Saturday, September 3rd with a 3:30 pm game on the road at Elmira College.  The Hawks play their first home game on Tuesday, September 6th against local rival Medaille College at 5:00 pm.  

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.