2013 Pomeroy Soccer Season Preview
Sept. 5, 2013
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. - Entering the 13th season of the program, the Pomeroy soccer team looks to build upon the successes and experience of last year in its upcoming 2013 campaign. The Pomeroys will be returning twelve players from last year’s squad that featured its largest incoming class in recent years. With a favorable schedule, the Pomeroys hope to make a trip back to the USCAA national tournament in early November after missing out the past two seasons.
With only losing three players to graduation and returning a strong core of talent, the Pomeroys have set high expectations to do well this season. Eight of the nine incoming players from last year’s team have a year of experience under their belt. With the addition of four senior leaders and strong freshman talent, the Pomeroys look to make a run at their first winning season and trip to the national tournament since 2010.
Longtime head coach Mike Aycock returns for his 13th season and will work alongside assistant coach Jovan Jeftich who is entering his 5th season. New to the coaching staff this year is former SMWC soccer standout Alexis Rusch. Alexis was a 2008 graduate of SMWC and will be a volunteer assistant this season.
The team reported to campus for the start of preseason training on Aug. 11. For two weeks, the Pomeroys trained twice daily, including a scrimmage in Rensselaer, Ind. against Saint Joseph’s College on Aug. 17.
Aycock has been pleased with his team’s performance during preseason training and has high praise for his new and returning players. “I think this group has an impressive sense of preparing themselves, carrying through, and supporting each other,” said Aycock. The standards in training, both for athleticism and skill, are higher than possibly any other Pomeroy team before them. They push each other hard, but have gelled pretty nicely into a group that can do things that are difficult for a team, like defending in the middle of the field as well as the defending third, or making great choices about when to possess and when to attack. Their performance in the scrimmage showed how far we have come in terms of "putting it all together."
Aycock was also very impressed with the play his team showed in their preseason scrimmage at Saint Joseph’s College. “Keeping a NCAA Division II team from scoring and staying patient in the attack until we could score ourselves showed me something,” said Aycock. A lot of that comes from veterans, who understand the speed of play and intensity that we need to succeed, and a lot of it comes from our big freshman class of last year stepping up to be leaders in technical ability and fitness as sophomores. Another big piece, though, is the excellent first-year players who have joined us. They have made us better."
The Pomeroys will begin the season with a home opener against the Grizzlies of Franklin College on Sept. 6. Two days later, the team will take a trip up to Southwest Michigan in a matchup with USCAA foe Andrews University. A three-game homestand will follow with matches against Anderson University, Brescia University, and Marygrove College on Homecoming. The September slate of games concludes with a tilt at Hanover College.
The October schedule will be a busy one for the Pomeroys. They open up at home with cross-town rival Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Oct. 1. On Oct. 6, West Virginia Institute of Technology will visit The Woods in another USCAA matchup. Three straight road games will follow, with games against Oakland City University, Midway College, and Saint Catherine College. A rematch at home with Oakland City takes place on Oct. 22 before traveling to Belleville, Ill. in the last road game of the season against Lindenwood-Belleville University. The final home game, including senior day ceremonies, will commence on Oct. 29 against USCAA foe Ohio Midwestern University. This game will honor all four seniors and their remarkable careers as members of the SMWC soccer team.
If the Pomeroys are to qualify for the USCAA National Championships, it will take place Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Charleston, West Virginia.