Stanford Men's Soccer 2005 Season Outlook
Aug. 22, 2005
The 2005 Stanford Men's Soccer Team looks to improve on a solid 2004 season, that featured a fast start, five ties, and many overtime or double overtime games. Last year was a tremendously improved season after the 2003 campaign in which the Cardinal managed only three wins. The team, under the direction of fifth-year head coach Bret Simon, bounced back in 2004 for some exciting battles, tallying a 7-6-5 record, and pushed several games past regulation.
With an always formidable Pac-10 Conference schedule, the Cardinal look forward to meeting several new teams in 2005. Stanford will be challenged in 2005, with six of their 13 opponents having reached NCAA postseason play in 2004. The Cardinal will face Vanderbilt, Army, and UAB, all first-time opponents. They will also compete against familiar foes such as, San Jose State, UC Davis, San Francisco, Cal State Northridge, and Santa Clara before opening conference play with San Diego State looking to improve on a fourth place Pac-10 finish last year. Even though Stanford posted just two conference wins, three of the team's four losses were by one goal, and the final loss to California went into double overtime. Four of the six losses overall were by one goal. The men also battled through six games that featured double overtimes. The 2004 squad definitely received valuable experience in close games and hope to turn the corner and win the close matches, to propel them to their 11th NCAA tournament berth.
Class of 2005 (graduated seniors)
Stanford says goodbye to nine valuable players, eight of whom were starters in 2004. At the forward position, Darren Fernandez andMatt Janusz, were starters for most of their careers on The Farm. Fernandez and Janusz let the 2004 team with 18 and 10 points respectively. They were Stanford's top two scorers in 2003 as well, and among the top four in 2004. Fernandez was a four time all-conference selection and Janusz was tapped for all-conference honors twice during his career. Fernandez ranks tied for fifth all-time for career games played with 82. Certainly, the Cardinal will miss not only their offensive capabilities, but their leadership as well.
Two strong midfielder/defenders leave The Farm in Aaron Maines and Todd Leber. Maines was an All-Pac-10 second team pick and moved into fifth place all-time for games played with 83. Leber and Maines were both three-time Pac-10 all-academic team members. Both were selfless players that worked hard and lead by example.
Other losses come to the defense with the departure of James Twellman and Jason Griffiths. Twellman was a three-time All-Pac-10 pick during his career on The Farm and was a starter for most of his career. After spending three seasons at Middlebury College where he compiled 13 points, he transferred to Stanford and contributed a game-winning goal and great leadership on and off the field.
Stanford will certainly miss goalkeeper, Robby Fulton, who had a stellar career on The Farm. Fulton was plagued by injuries his senior year but managed to post a 1.43 GAA, record 43 saves and two shutouts. Not only was he a three-time All Pac-10 selection, he was Pac-10 All-Academic team selection in each of the three years he was eligible. He leaves Stanford ranked first all-time in single-season lowest GAA with 0.43 (2002), fifth in single-season shutouts with nine (2002), fifth in career minutes in goal with 4,090.85 minutes, and sixth in career saves with 161.
The team was also extremely fortunate to have a great senior goalkeeping backup in Spencer Porter. Spencer was a co-recipient of the team's Spirit Award and made an invaluable contribution to the team's success.
The 2005 team will be lead by three outstanding seniors who have great experience under their belts. Head Coach Bret Simon and his coaching staff look to Cooper McKee, Bronson McDonald, and K.C. Coyne to guide the team.McKee, a transfer from St. Louis University, is a midfielder who started all 18 games in 2004 and ranked contributed three total points. McKee also earned Pac-10 All-Conference second-team honors for last season's efforts.Bronson McDonald is a midfielder/defender who also started all 18 games last season and brings the experience of 47 career games played to the table.
K.C. Coyne rounds out the senior class at the forward spot. Coyne tallied an assist in 14 games played in 2004 and has played in 27 games during his Cardinal campaign.
This senior class will undoubtedly help guide a young 2005 squad.
Brown started all 18 games as a midfielder/defender and tallied one assist while working his way onto the Pac-10 All-Conference honorable mention squad. He has already played in 36 games for the Cardinal in just two years.
Midfielder, Shimizu, and midfielder/defender, Thompson each played in 17 games with Thompson garnering eight starts. Thompson placed second on the team in goals with two and third on the team in points with five while Shimizu recorded two points. Shimizu and Thompson have played in 35 and 37 games respectively during their Stanford tenure.
Goalkeeper, Andrew Kartunen had a fantastic 2004. He started and played in seven games for Bret Simon and his staff while recording a miniscule GAA of 0.28 with 25 saves and five shutouts. Kartunen will definitely keep the team in good hands with his goalkeeping and save ability after coming off a successful stint with the U.S. Under-20 National Team.
Hency, another midfielder/defender, sat out his first season while recovering from a broken leg, and continued the long road to recovery with two late season appearances.
Ringer and Ryan both had fantastic freshman campaigns before injuries forced them out in 2004. Ryan, a midfielder, played in all 20 games in 2003, starting 18, and scoring four points. Ringer, another versatile player, who can play either forward or midfielder, played in 15 games in 2003. This class will have a huge impact on the 2005 team, and will be a force to be reckoned with.
The sophomores are a strong class who shined as freshmen in 2004. It features defenders, Luke Sager and Mark Bartlett, Scott Bolkan, Ryan Oblak, midfield/defenders Ryan Imamura and Enrique Allen, midfielder/forwards, Evan Morgan, and Dan Shapiro.
Sager and Allen did redshirt the 2004 season, but come into 2005 with a year of valuable work that will help this class reach its outstanding ability.
Sager will look to be an impact player in 2005 and Bartlett will pull from his 12 games and six starts in 2004 for strength this year.
Scott Bolkan, like Bartlett, played in 12 games, making seven starts, which will help him emerge as a key defender in 2005.
Ryan Imamura is a transfer player from Cornell University who will add to the list of multi-positional players who will compete for playing time immediately.
Oblak, and Allen round out the sophomore midfielder/defenders, both looking to contribute in 2005 after outstanding spring seasons.Midfielder Evan Morgan and forward Dan Shapiro also give this class a great outlook in `05 with their 15 and 16 games played respectively. Shapiro started five of 16 games played and scored a goal in his first year of play, while Morgan added a goal of his own. These players may be young, but have a great amount of talent and experience to bring into their sophomore years.
Stanford's freshmen class will help the Cardinal round out its strong roster. The College Soccer New publication ranked this group the 25th best freshmen class nationally. It features seven players and includes plenty of talent and versatility. The 2005 season will introduce freshmen Michael Alexander, Tim Jones, Alex Kozachenko, Tunji Munabi, Josh Nesbit, T.J. Novak and Brent Stewart.
Alexander, a defender/midfielder hails from Sarasota, Florida where he attended Sarasota High School. He earned all-state honors as well as being named a NSCAA Scholar Athlete All-American. He set a school record in soccer, scoring 29 goals in 2005.
Tim Jones is a defender/midfielder from Lawranceville, Georgia where he attended Collins Hill High School. Tim was an offensive standout as a defender at Collins, where he earned all-county and all-state honors. He also competed for AFC Lightning Premier 87 and earned NSCAA/Adidas All-American honors.
Alex Kozachenko, a forward/midfielder was a four-year letterwinner at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, Calif. He was a first-team all-league selection his junior and senior seasons and was tabbed the Umbro Super-Y-League Final MVP in 2002.
Tunji Munabi, a forward was a three sport athlete at St. Paul's School in New Hampshire where he captained all three squads his senior year.Nesbit attended Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Va., earning all-conference and all-state awards. This well-traveled goalkeeper played for D.C. United Youth, where he captured a USL national championship. Nesbit traveled Europe in 2003 with DC United Youth and also trained with the English professional club, Coventry City's Youth Academy in the summer of 2004.
Another player entering from east of the Mississippi is T.J. Novak. Novak is a midfielder/defender from Fenton, Missouri who attended Rockwood Summit High School. He was all-conference, all-metro, all-state, and all-America throughout his career and also captured the state player of the year honor and Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year honor in 2004. He posted 34 career goals in high school.
Yet another different state is represented by freshmen goalkeeper Brent Stewart. Stewart is from Dallas, Texas where he captained his soccer squad from 2003 to 2004 at St. Mark's School of Texas. This team MVP also competed for the Dallas Texans Soccer Club, who were national champions this summer and finished third at the 2003 Youth National Championship. Stewart will compete for time at goal with another freshman goalkeeper, Josh Nesbit.
The Cardinal's four classes make up a solid mix of seasoned veterans and talented newcomers. With spirits high and the team focused on their goals, the Stanford men's soccer team looks to be a frontrunner for postseason honors in 2005.