Six Teams In Six Days: Stanford Men's Soccer Preview
Aug. 21, 2006
The Stanford men's soccer team, under the direction of head coach Bret Simon, is looking forward to an exciting and challenging season in 2006. Simon welcomes six newcomers to the 26-man squad that looks to build great team chemistry to help them down the road to success.
This year's team will have much more experience than the 2005 squad as 17 letterwinners return as well as nine starters. 'We were a young team last year with six players in their first year,' said Simon. 'We're more experienced now. The team has worked exceptionally hard in the offseason and I think it will pay off.'
Stanford's schedule will provide them with some tough competition in 2006 with '05 NCAA participants UCLA, California, Santa Clara, USF, Dartmouth and San Diego State on the schedule.
The Cardinal will feature three senior midfielders in Galen Thompson, Bret Shimizu and Michael Brown. Redshirt junior Kyle Hency will likely fill out the foursome. Thompson made 12 starts in 18 games for Stanford last year, notching two goals and an assist. Shimizu, a 2005 Pac-10 All-Academic selection, saw time in 12 games for Stanford last season and tallied an assist against California. Brown started all 18 games for the Cardinal last season and scored the game-winning goal in Stanford's 3-2 win over Oregon State. He was a second-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection as well. Hency made 10 starts in 17 games played, including starts in the last seven games of the '05 season. He recorded one goal and one assist on the year and was an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic pick. Redshirt freshman Alex Kozachenko was impressive in the spring and looks ready to compete for meaningful playing time this fall as well.
Offensive threats for Stanford include sophomore T.J. Novak, junior Evan Morgan and junior Dan Shapiro. Novak made five consecutive starts in 11 games played before a season-ending injury cut short his freshman campaign in '05. Morgan, a second-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection, made 15 appearances for the Cardinal last year and recorded two assists. Shapiro started all 18 games for the Cardinal and took 20 shots on the year including 10 on goal. He had two assists on the year and was a first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection. Sophomore Tunji Munabi looks to build on his experience as a freshman after returning from a successful season with the Stanford track and field program. Redshirt junior Stephen Ringer hopes the injury bug is finally over and he can make an on-field contribution to the Cardinal attack.
Juniors Ryan Oblak and Scott Bolkan will provide veteran leadership in the Stanford backline. Sophomore Tim Jones and junior Ryan Imamura will step up and help round out the defense. Oblak made 15 starts in 17 games played for Stanford and recorded his first collegiate goal against Oregon State. He was a second-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection. Bolkan started in all 18 games for Stanford in `05 and scored the Cardinal's lone goal against Oregon State (10/16). He first-team Pac-10 All-Academic pick as well. Tim Jones made 10 starts in 18 games played for the Cardinal, including 10 consecutive starts to close out the 2005 season. Imamura saw action in nine contests for Stanford last season. Redshirt sophomore Enrique Allen saw plenty of action in the spring game, along with junior Mark Bartlett and sophomore Michael Alexander. They are expected to provide additional depth and quality play in the defense.
An injury to senior goalkeeper Andrew Kartunen in the offseason, will leave the goalkeeper position wide open for competition. Freshman John Moore, redshirt freshman Brent Stewart and sophomore Josh Nesbit will all vie for the starting position in net. Nesbit made four starts in goal for the Cardinal last year recording 23 saves and a .852 save percentage.
Joining the Cardinal this season are four freshmen - Moore, Thiago Sa Freire, Michael Strickland and Brant Bishop along with sophomore newcomers Tom Montgomery and Chris Huston-Ringstrom.
Moore is a graduate of Chino Hills High School where he was a four-year letterwinner in soccer and captained his team his senior year. He was the 2006 Male Scholar Athlete of the Year and a three-time all-league selection. He was tabbed MVP goalkeeper of the Surf Cup U19 Super Group in 2005. Sa Freire is a 2006 graduate of Christian Brothers College High School in Manchester, Missouri where he captained the soccer team his senior year. He was a two-time NSCAA All-American and ccored eight goals and tallied 14 assists in 2005. Sa Freire helped his team to a regional championship and second place finish nationally in 2003.
Strickland comes from Davis, California where he played at Davis Senior High School. He was a two-year letterwinner who captained the team both seasons. A two-time All-Monticello Empire League selection, he was the MEL MVP in '05 when he led Davis the section championship. Bishop hails from Riverside, Missouri where he attended Park Hill South High School. A four-year letterwinner who was a 2006 NSCAA Youth All-American and two-time Missouri first-team All-State selection. He was the '06 Missouri Western Regional Player of the Year as well.
Montgomery is from Bakersfield, California where he was a four-year letterwinner at Centennial High School (graduated in 2004). He was an all-league and all-area selection. Huston-Ringstrom graduated from Corono del Mar in Newport Beach, California in 2004 where he was a first-team All-CIF selection in '04. He was tabbed team MVP his senior year as well.