2004 Men's Soccer Season Outlook
The key to being a successful collegiate athletic program is being able to reload quickly after a large graduating class. This is the challenge that the University of Southern Indiana and Head Coach Dan Hogan face in 2004.
The Screaming Eagles were 10-7-1 overall and 8-2-0 in the GLVC last fall, finished within shouting distance of making the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2003. For the first time in seven seasons, the Eagles were ranked consistently in the Central Region and ranked in the top 25 for two weeks for the first time since 1995.
The bitter-sweet news after last season was that the Eagles graduated seven starters. Of the seven graduating players, USI said good-bye to All-American and two-time All-GLVC performer Duncan Bray and All-GLVC performer Matt Settles.
Despite the loss of the graduating players, Hogan and the Eagles return a very strong base, led by the defense. Over the last two seasons, the USI defense has improved to the point of lowering the team's goals against average (GAA) nearly one goal per game compared to the previous five years.
Penick, the 2002 GLVC Freshman of the Year, had a rough start to 2003, but finished the year as one of the top goalkeepers in the GLVC. He dropped his GAA from 2.94 in his first three games of 2003 to 1.17 in his final 14 games as a sophomore. Penick also has posted 10 career shutouts, three behind Jim Dionne who is third all-time at USI with 13.
Hill has developed into a solid back-up to Penick, playing in 17 matches over the last three seasons. He also won his only start of the year in 2004.
In front of the goal the Eagles have a pair of experienced performers in sophomore sweeper Brian Shepherd and junior outside back Billy Moore. Shepherd was a GLVC Freshman of the Year candidate in 2003, while Moore was solid in the back until missing the final 10 matches to injury.
The Eagles also will look for contributions from seniors Josh Burton and Josh Benton; and sophomore Tim Leavell. Leavell played well during the spring, making the transition from forward to left back, while Burton and Benton both played well off the bench last season and will be looked to for their veteran experience in 2004.
New to the USI backfield in 2004 is freshmen Sam Gelven and Jacy Brimm. Gelven, who sat out last season as a redshirt, was a major contributor to the Christian Brothers College High School's three conference championships between 1999 and 2002.
Brimm travels across Evansville to play at USI after playing four seasons for Central High School, where he lettered in soccer, football, and track. A four-year varsity player in soccer, he was named first-team All-City, All-SIAC, and All-District as a senior. Brimm also was the CHS team captain and the leading scorer.
The graduation of Bray, Settles, and Jared Anslinger, who combined had 11 years of collegiate experience, left the Eagles with a large holes to fill in the midfield. The Eagles and Hogan will count on two returning players and two newcomers to fill the voids.
Leading the returning players is senior Greg Dingrando and junior Jeff Slaga. Dingrando, who missed 14 games last year to injury, should be a stabilizing-veteran force in the middle for USI. Jeff Slaga appeared in three matches for the Eagles as a sophomore.
Calderwood transfers to USI from the University of Highland and Islands. Over the last several years, he has been the team captain for the Lerwick Spurs Football Club and the Shetland County Select team.
Blose was a 2003 honorable mention All-State selection for Skyline High School in Longmont, Colorado. He also was a two-time All-Conference performer and was named to the 2003 All-Area team. Blose also has played the last three years for the St. Vrain Express Soccer Club in Longmont.
Hendon set the Kentucky High School Athletic Association record for
consecutive games with an assist (4) and goals scored (5) while at
Madisonville-North Hopkins. He also was a
four-time Athletic Academic All-State selection; a four-time All-District
player; and was named All-Region in 2002.
Hendon scored 44 career goals and assisted on 23 more in 53 career games in three varsity seasons at Madisonville-North Hopkins. He had his best season as a junior when he had 55 points on 23 goals and nine assists.
Meyers was named second-team All-State and was an All-Big Eight Conference selection as a senior when he scored 16 goals and dished out 23 assists for Washington High School in Washington, Indiana, in 2003. His 23 assists led the State of Indiana. As a junior, Meyers was third-team All-State and was an All-Big Eight selection when he produced 10 goals and 21 assists, which ranked third in the state.
While defense will carry the Eagles a long way, the squad needs to score to post victories. Hogan's challenge will be to replace 24 of 29 goals scored by the 2003 squad.
The Eagles have a solid core of returning forwards who saw a lot of action off the bench last season. Leading the way is sophomore Tyler Dallas. Dallas made 10 starts as a freshman, including the last seven games of the year
Bass comes to USI from Francis Howell Central High School in St. Charles,
Missouri, where he lettered in soccer, baseball, and basketball. As a senior
in soccer last fall, Bass was the FHC team captain and was named second-team
All-Conference after leading the league in scoring. Bass will graduate from
FHC as the school’s second all-time leading scorer.
In addition to FHC, Bass was a member of the Ironkids U-18 select soccer team that was the Missouri State Cup finalist in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Bass also helped lead the Ironkids club to the Super Clubs National Championship in 2001 and to 22 tournament championships in 29 tries.
Charles, who lettered in soccer, football, and track at Catholic High School (New Iberia, Louisiana), was a Louisiana Division III first team All-State performer and District 3 Offensive Most Valuable Player after recording 80 points on 37 goals and six assists as senior.
Dugger, by way of the University of Kentucky, and Hendon come to USI from
Madisonville-North Hopkins High School.
Dugger is a transfer from Kentucky where did not see game action in 2003. Prior to attending Kentucky, he was a four-year starter at Madisonville-North Hopkins High School and was All-American by the NSCAA.
Dugger ranks second all-time in Kentucky high school soccer with 151 career goals. He led Madisonville-North Hopkins in goals scored each season and was a three-time team Most Valuable Players.
Stoll comes to USI from Washington High School where he was a two-time All-Big
8 Conference performer and a member of three conference and sectional
championship teams as well as two regional championship squads.
An honorable mention All-State selection as a senior in 2003, Stoll started and played in 22 games, recording 21 goals and 18 assists.
Vossmer begins his collegiate career after helping lead Western Hills High School to four district championships and three regional titles. He also was All-District and All-Conference in 2003.
Whitney lettered in soccer and basketball during his four years at Heritage Hills High School. The 2003 ISCA All-District performer has scored 52 goals and dished out 16 assists over the last three years in soccer, recording a career-best 24 goals and eight assists as a junior.