Aug. 29, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego men's soccer team will take on the UC Berkeley in their home opener on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. at Torero Stadium.
The men's soccer team lost only four starters this past season and will return 15 letter winners, including senior front-man Dusting Guerrero and junior defender Sam Reeder for the 2007 season. The Torero coaching staff will look heavily to the upperclassmen to guide this year's squad to the post season. However, the underclassmen, including sophomore defensemen Ryan Peterman and sophomore forward J.T. Howlan (three goals in 2006), should not be over looked.
"There are a lot of different variations we can use with this squad," said head coach Seamus McFadden. "It's just a matter of fitting the right peg in the right hole."
The Toreros were recognized by the conference with numerous All-WCC honors in 2006. Three seniors (Ryan Guy, Michael Caso, and Kevin Meissner) all earned first team All-Conference honors. While returner Tim Grey earned both Honorable Mention and All-Freshman honors. Sam Reeder also made the Honorable Mention team, and Ryan Peterman made the All-Freshman team as well. With returners like Grey, Peterman, and Reeder, the Toreros will make a strong presence in the WCC.
"We've got lots of experience and now we need to translate this into performance." Said McFadden
In the WCC pre-season coaches' poll, USD was picked to finish third after leading the conference with 47 goals last season and tying a WCC record with 22 goals against league opponents. The Toreros will look to improve upon that mark this upcoming season with last year's rookie squad gaining more experience on the field.
"We initiated a new system in the spring and it worked well for us," explained McFadden. "We had good results and hopefully some of that success can carry over from the spring.
The toreros face another grueling schedule battling against tough non-conference & West Coast Conference opponents. Six teams USD will face in 2007 made it to post season action last year (Cal Berkeley, Hofstra, Brown, University of San Francisco, and Santa Clara University) including the runners up in the title match, UCLA.
"It's going to be tough," explained McFadden. "It will be a big test for us. But we feel we can beat anyone on the day."
The always difficult double round robin format calls for USD to play every WCC team once at home and once on the road. The schedule does not let up once conference action starts with Santa Clara ranked in the top ten in the nation.
"We want to do better in conference," said McFadden "It's a difficult schedule just looking at it. We want to present ourselves well against each team but the focus is conference."
"We want to get back to the tournament," stated McFadden. "That's our priority, and win the conference title. We'll take it one step at a time. We've been working hard to get the recruits here to balance the team and we've got the talent."
The Toreros open up against the UC Berkeley Golden Bears, leading the series 8-5-1, on Friday, August 31 at home. West Coast Conference play will begin on October 7 when USD faces Santa Clara at Torero Stadium.
"We've got lots of youth and experience and now we just have to see the performance."