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2005 Men's Soccer Season Outlook

The University of Southern Indiana men's soccer team is looking for the "bounce" in 2005.

After making the GLVC Tournament in 2002 and 2003, the 2004 season did not go the way the Screaming Eagles wanted it to, finishing the year 2-15-1 overall and 1-9-0 in the GLVC. Now USI is looking to rebound back into the GLVC tournament this year.

After having 13 newcomers on last year's team, USI Head Coach Dan Hogan leads an experienced squad into the fall campaign.


The Eagles' defense begins with senior goalkeeper Kyle Penick and junior sweeper Brian Shepherd.

Penick, the 2002 GLVC Freshman of the Year, struggled with injuries last season and had a 2.16 GAA in 14 matches. He ranks fourth all-time at USI with 11 shutouts and has a career record of 22-22-1 in 45 starts.

Joining Penick between the posts are freshmen Jake Bryan and Adam Churchill. Bryan, who could be the tallest goalkeeper in the history of the menís soccer program at six feet-five inches, comes to USI from Portage High School. He won seven letters in soccer and basketball at PHS.

Churchill travels to USI from Warsaw Community High School. The four-year varsity player at WHS was a two-time first team All-Conference performer and the MSRA Northern Indiana Goalkeeper of the Year. He also was the South Bend Tribune Most Valuable Player as a senior and led the IHSAA in goalkeeping in 2003 and 2004.

As a senior, Churchill started 19 matches and produced nine shutouts and a 0.65 goals against average in leading WHS to the Northern Lakes Conference championship.

Shepherd, the team captain, is joined in front of the goal by returning starters Billy Moore, a senior, and Matt Vossmer, a sophomore. Off the bench, junior Tim Leavell and sophomore Cory Hendon will be looked to contribute valuable minutes.

Shepherd was very successful at the center-back position despite a nagging preseason ankle injury and a season-ending head injury against the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Vossmer and Moore started every game for the Eagles last year and will be counted upon for their experience in the back. Leavell and Hendon could see more action in 2005, after moving to the defense in 2004.

New to the back in 2005 is sophomore Suleiman Khan. Khan transfers to USI after spending a year at Lincoln Memorial University and helping the Railsplitters to the Gulf South Conference title.


The midfield is the one position that could see significant change in 2005.

The Eagles return a trio of starters in senior Jeff Slaga and sophomores Jason Blose and Evan Stoll. In addition, USI brings back sophomore Quinton Myers, who saw limited action as a freshman.

Slaga is a four-year senior with a great work rate and could take one of the outside midfield positions. Blose saw a lot of action in the USI midfield as a freshman and has an above average pace and ability to cross the ball.

Stoll started 16 of 18 games as a freshman and will make the switch from forward to midfielder. He had a game-winning goal and had 12 points on four goals and a team-high four assists.

Competing for the open spots are four newcomers in junior transfers Eric Brewer and  Richie Maldonado; and freshmen Dan Grunewald and Tyree Robinson.

Brewer played two seasons for Southwestern Illinois College where he earned All-Tournament honors at the regional tournament in 2004. He played for Granite City High School prior to attending SWIC and was the team captain in 2002. Brewer also helped GCHS to the 2002 regional and sectional championships.

Maldonado, who can play a multitude of positions, played last year for Western Nebraska Community College where he recorded six points on one goals and four assists.

Robinson is a two-sport athlete at Jefferson City High School, lettering in soccer and track. He finished his soccer career as an honorable mention All-State player in 2004 and was a two-time first team All-District and All-Region performer.

The Munster High School Most Valuable Player in 2004, Grunewald helped lead the Mustangs to three straight conference and sectional championships (2002, 2003, 2004).


Offensively, the Eagles return their top scorer from last season in sophomore Michael Dugger. Dugger led the team with 16 points on eight goals and had one of the game-winners.

To bolster the offense, USI has added three new forwards to the 2005 roster.

Junior Brett Palazzolo played two seasons for St. Louis Community College at Meramec after earning seven letters at St. John the Baptist High School in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a first team All-State performer and had 67 goals in four seasons for St. John the Baptist and was a teammate of USIís Brian Shepherd. Palazzolo also played in the North/South All-Star game as a senior.

Beginning their collegiate career at USI are freshmen Mike Bendzen and Matt Long. Bendzen was an honorable mention All-State and a two-time first team All-City performer at Harrison High School. He also was a two-time first team All-SIAC performer and was named to the IHSAA College Showcase Team.

A three-year varsity performer at Reitz High School, Long was the Panthersí 2003 and 2004 Offensive Most Valuable Player and led the state with 16 assists in 2004. The 2003 All-City player also scored 12 goals.

Long, who was coached at RHS by former USI soccer player B.J. Babb, scored 20 goals and dished out 26 assists during his high school career. He also earned Academic All-State and All-District honors as a senior and was named All-City and All-Conference the last two years. RHS was a combined 39-12 during the last three years.

(Click here to view 2004 Season Outlook)

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