FROSTBURG, Md. -
The Frostburg State men's soccer team is looking to build on the strong finish from last fall as it aims for the 2006 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championship.
FSU, despite posting a 9-10 overall record, finished the regular season winning seven of their last ten games. After advancing to the semifinals of the AMCC tournament for the ninth consecutive season the Bobcats were knocked off in double overtime, 1-0, by eventual conference champion Medaille.
The Bobcats also look to continue their stellar play at home, where they posted six shutouts last season.
The 2006 offense will be under new leadership with the graduation of three-time all-conference performer Matt Moffa. Seniors Steve Zoutman (Chester, N.Y./Goshen) and Jeff Bisker (Fallston, Md./Fallston) along with junior Trevor Havey (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty) will be looked to pick up the goal scoring for the Bobcats.
Zoutman has been a mainstay in the Bobcat defense since 2003 but will be moved to the offensive end where he recorded five goals and two assists his freshman year.
Havey netted three goals and two assists last year and will look to regain the form from his freshman year where he earned second-team all-conference honors.
Bisker has added depth to the Bobcat frontline the past three seasons and his speed and athletic ability help bring a high energy level to the attack off the bench.
The midfield will be anchored by a pair all-conference players. Junior Kenny Dotter (Baltimore, Md./Sparrows Point) who was a first-team all-league honoree last season posted five goals and three assists from his outside midfield position. Dotter's tremendous speed and tenacious work rate make him a nightmare for opposing defenders.
Sophomore Gregg Laskow (Plainsboro, N.J./WWP-North) was an honorable-mention All-AMCC selection in 2005 after scoring three goals and posting two assists. This season, he will be asked to move inside to anchor the middle with his playmaking ability.
Senior Sean Quealy (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) notched a goal and an assist last fall and will once again be looked upon to contribute from his outside midfield position by creating scoring opportunities with his speed and one-on-one attacking ability.
A pair of juniors, Sean Tana (Baldwin, Md./Loyola Blakefield) and Alex Wilkinson (La Vale, Md./Bishop Walsh), will patrol the midfield with Laskow.
Tana brings more of the goal scoring and playmaking mentality to the middle while Wilkinson is there to disrupt the opposition's offensive flow and start the counter attack.
The Bobcat defense will have plenty of veteran leadership for the 2006 campaign. Second-team all-conference selection Adam Gracia (Rockville, Md./Thomas Wootton) returns after starting every game his freshman campaign. Gracia's tremendous technical ability makes him an offensive threat every time he touches the ball.
Sophomore Sean Jones (Pasadena, Md./Severna Park) will be the heart of the Bobcat backline. Jones' insertion into the starting line-up last season really solidified the back line and sparked the defensive turn around.
The Red and Black once again welcome the return of junior Andrew Appelbaum (Severn, Md./Old Mill). Appelbaum, a former Maryland All-State selection has suffered season ending injuries in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. He is once again healthy and anxious to get back on the field with his teammates.
Rounding out the Bobcat defense will be junior Greg Mason (Ewing, N.J./Ewing) and sophomore Joe Norton (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph).
Mason has started 36 of 40 matches his first two seasons and has used his composure on the ball and soccer intelligence to become one of the Bobcats most consistent performers.
Norton’s phenomenal work-rate and relentless aggressive play have made him the teams defensive stopper off the bench. He will also be used in the midfield because of his versatility.
The Bobcats look to be in good shape in net with the return of senior Derek Richardson (New Windsor, Md./Linganore) and sophomore Jay Herford (Crofton, Md./South River).
Richardson only allowed two goals in conference play and had individual or combined shutouts in five of the eight conference matches he participated in. He is an enormous presence in the air and usually gets to anything inside his box.
Herford saw limited action last year as a freshman but showed tremendous progress during the spring season and has continued to work over the summer by playing with the Northern Virginia Royals U-23 team.
Coach Byrnes will look to his veterans for leadership and development of his younger players. Hoping to make an impact in his first year will be Steven Jacobsen (Waldorf, Md./West Lake). He was an All-Sate player while at West Lake and will be looked upon to make an early contribution on the Bobcat defense.
Joining Jacobsen in adding depth to the defense will be Bryan Bowring (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg), Nick Basalyga (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) and Patrick Ferraris (Springfield, Va./Paul IV).
Giving the Bobcats some offensive fire power will be Travis Palmer (Centerville, Md./Queen Annes). Palmer was a first-team All-Bayside selection and was MVP of the Bayside All-Star game. As a senior, he recorded 11 goals and seven assists.
The schedule will again be difficult for the Bobcats. Frostburg State opens the season when it hosts Gettysburg, Waynesburg and Neumann for the FSU Tournament.
In the weeks leading up to AMCC competition, FSU will travel to Bethany (W.Va.), St. Mary’s and Johns Hopkins and host Albright and Franklin & Marshall.
Bethany finished last year with a 12-6-1 overall record and a runner-up finish in the President’s Athletic Conference Tournament while St. Mary’s finished 12-7-1 overall and third in the Capital Athletic Conference.
JHU was 14-2-5 last fall and captured its fourth ECAC Championship and Franklin & Marshall will again be a tough team after a 8-5-3 record.
FSU opens league play with last seasons runner-up, Lake Erie. The Bobcats will also welcome reigning conference champion Medaille, rival Penn State Behrend and La Roche to Bobcat Stadium in 2006.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303