Men's Soccer Hopes For Continued Improvement

Release Date:
August 15, 2006
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

2006 Season Preview

HAMBURG, NY – Coming off an improved 3-11-0 record in 2005, second-year head soccer coach Rick Couell and his staff are looking for more improvements within the Hilbert College men’s soccer program. A returning cast of seasoned veterans and eight quality recruits should help the Hawks as they strive to make their first appearance in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) tournament. Couell feels the 2006 training camp will not only be competitive, but crucial if the Hawks are going to reach their goal of making post-season play.

“We have added several games to our 2006 schedule which we feel will prepare us for the rigors of our conference contests”, mentioned Couell. Buffalo State, Elmira College, Hiram College and NAIA Division II opponent Daemen College will be part of a very competitive non-league schedule. The journey begins on September 1st when the Hawks play host to the Theil College Tomcats out of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC).

Three seniors return for the royal and white this fall with hopes of making 2006 a memorable end to their collegiate careers. Midfielder Tim Jordan (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) and forward Dan Russell (Marilla, NY/ Iroquois) combined for five goals in 2005. As co-captains this fall, their leadership will be crucial in building team chemistry with Couell’s recruiting class. Fellow senior Josh Krupski (Marilla, NY/Iroquois) will help to secure the Hawks defense where he started 13 games last fall.

Strong efforts will also be required from juniors Pat Kane (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) and Robert Gerhard (Lakeshore, NY/Lakeshore) in the midfield. At 6’3 Gerhard brings strength and size while Kane tallied his lone goal of 2005 in a tough 4-2 loss to Daemen College. Junior midfielder Michael Erlwein (Jeffersonville, NY/Sullivan West) also brings experience with 13 starts last fall.

Sophomores to watch include defenseman Kirk Love (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) and midfielder Justin Pietrowski (Lancaster, NY/ Lancaster) who combined for 25 starts as freshmen. Others looking to contribute include defensemen Dan Gerringer (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh) and Josh Seeley (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh) who both saw limited action last season. “We are excited to see what kind of an impact our sophomores will have”, said Couell. “Now, with a year’s experience they should be able to contribute more consistently”.

Several talented newcomers, including All-Western New York Small School goalkeeper Josh Griffey (Holland, NY/Holland), highlight a strong six person freshman class. A pair of transfers in Pat Coleman (Blasdell, NY/) and Cory Burch (Jamestown, NY/Southwestern) bring experience from Fredonia State and Jamestown Community College respectfully.

The Hilbert College men’s soccer team placed ninth in the 10 team AMCC in 2005 and will look to get off to a quick start this fall. The Hawks open conference play at home on September 23rd against Penn State Altoona.

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.