DC Men’s Soccer Places Three on HCAC Watch List
GREENWOOD, Ind. – With DC men’s soccer squad competing in Europe, the Heartland Conference Athletic Conference released its preseason poll Thursday morning with Defiance picked for an eighth-place finish. Three Yellow Jackets were named HCAC Players to Watch in senior defender Ryan Owens, junior goalkeeper Sean Roberts, and junior midfielder Even Allen.
Coach Alex Van der Sluijs is entering his third year at DC and is looking to improve on last year’s 5-10-3 mark (3-4-2 HCAC). After a slow start to the 2011 campaign, the squad made great strides in the second half of the season by finishing out with a 4-3-2 record over its last nine games. The Jackets hope to use that momentum to their advantage as they kick-off the 2012 season. With eight players returning to the club having 11 or more starts last season, including the Second-Team All-HCAC goalie, the team is looking to make some noise in the conference.
Leading the trio of Jackets on the HCAC Watch List is junior goalkeeper Sean Roberts. After getting the nod to guard the net in 17-of-18 matches and posting a solid 1.52 goals allowed average last season, he earned marks in the conference by making Second-Team All-HCAC.
Junior midfielder Evan Allen was the second DC player to make the list. This is his first appearance on the HCAC Watch List. He has started 34-of-35 matches in his career with the Jackets including five scores. The South Euclid, Ohio native will be looked at to be a leader in his third campaign with the club.
Lastly, senior defender Ryan Owens rounds out the HCAC Watch List for Defiance. He is one of only five players on the squad entering his fourth year with the Jackets. Owens has 26 starts under his belt and will be a key figure in the DC defensive effort.
In the HCAC men’s soccer poll, Defiance earned a total of 45 points in the eighth spot, ahead of Hanover (26) and rival Bluffton (13).
Transylvania was chosen first in the poll with 95 points to narrowly edge out Rose-Hulman (93). Earlham was third with 70 points to finish out the top three.
Defiance will open the 2012 season at Winsper-Knobel Memorial Field on Friday, August 31, when it hosts Greenville in the annual Purple and Gold Classic. The match is scheduled for a 3:00 pm start.