Aug. 15, 2007
Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's men's soccer team began its training camp today at Garaventa Field. Under the direction of second-year head coach Adam Cooper, 15 newcomers along with 10 returners took to the field for the start of double days.
"The guys have been working hard and everyone is itching to get back into the swing of things," Cooper said. "We're all excited to be in camp and looking forward to the start of the season."
The Gaels welcome 15 newcomers, 13 of which are freshman to the 2007 squad. Saint Mary's returns All-WCC Second-Team selection Dylan Leslie and senior goalkeeper Brian Mason. Leslie was tied for the team lead in goals as a true freshman with four. Mason has etched his name atop nearly every net minding record in the SMC annals.
Saint Mary's aims to build on some program firsts from last season. For the first time in school history the Gaels downed ranked opponents in back-to-back games. To start the 2006 conference season, SMC defeated No. 11 USF 1-0 and No. 10 USD 4-2.
The Gaels grabbed two key transfers for the upcoming year. Midfielder Justin Kim comes to Moraga from Bowling Green, where he was an All-MAC selection after tallying 12 points on five goals and two assists. Defender Brian Siu reports to camp from CS Northridge where he helped the Matadors make a run in the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
On top of the transfers, key freshmen signings are forward Nick Cashmere, from Bellingham, WA and defender Kyle Deremer from Omaha, NE. Erik Rivas (Long Beach, CA), Jared Medina (Rancho Penasquitos, CA) and the Grider twins, Justin and Jordan (Concord, CA) will be relied upon to make an immediate impact.
With the large amount of newcomers and only six starters returning, the position battles in camp will be intense but will also supply Cooper with a lot of quality options.
Saint Mary's plays two exhibition matches with the first against Cal State Stanislaus on Sunday, August 19 before opening regular season play at Davidson, NC on August 31. The Gaels will face off against host Davidson and then play UNC Charlotte on September 2 in the Davidson Tournament.