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2013 Season Preview
The 2013 Cornerstone men's soccer team is on a mission to take care of unfinished business from a season ago. The 2012 campaign was very successful in many ways, yet the Golden Eagles saw their season come to an end to soon with a double-overtime loss to Aquinas in the WHAC Tournament Championship Game (lost 5-4 in pks). "It was great to win back-to-back WHAC regular season titles," states Bell, whose team posted a 14-3-2 overall record last season (9-1 in Conference). "I thought last year's season was an incredible run by a great group of seniors who we had invested a lot in. "Every year our ultimate goal is to make it in to the national tournament and that's on the top of our list of goals for the 2013 season." The Golden Eagles lose a lot from last year's squad (12 seniors), but there are reasons for optimism.
Senior Jordan Wilson has been named captain of the 2013 team while classmates Tristan Esprit (Toronto, ON), Chris Buitenhuis (Grand Haven, MI) and Richard Moylan (Hilo, HI) will serve as assistant captains during the season. This will be Wilson's second year serving as captain, as he returns from a knee injury that cut 2012 season short. Wilson, a midfielder has been a starter and All Conference player in all three of his seasons. Tristan is coming off his best season, 19 games played with 16 starts with 3 goals and 1 assists, 25 shots and 1 game-winning goal. Chris started and played in every game for the Golden Eagles as a defender. Moylan finished with 1 goal and 2 assists with 19 games and 15 starts. Here is a breakdown of the 2013 Golden Eagles:
Arguably the biggest challenge will be replacing the senior group (Grotenhuis, Osorio, Stanko and Nimmo) that accounted for 33 of the team's 45 goals scored last year. The task of jump-starting our offense will go to returners senior Richard Moylan (Hilo, HI), junior Diego Bobadilla (Holland, MI), Ian Taylor (Delano, MN), senior Shell Enns (Clinton, MS) and Marcel Santana (Santiago, DR). We are looking for breakout seasons from juniors Marcel Santana (Santiago, DR) and Ian Taylor (Delano, MN). Marcel sat out the 2012 season with a back injury but has worked hard to prepare to have an impact in 2013. Ian has gained some good experience over the last 2 seasons and has continued to develop over the last 2 seasons. Providing additional depth will be senior Justin Schoepke (Big Bend, WI), freshman Gareth Flynn (Elk Grove Village, IL), sophomore transfer Mario Williams, freshman Kwame Miller (Southborough, ON) and freshman Silas Courey (Holland, MI).
The midfield will be anchored by 3-time All Conference senior Jordan Wilson (Mississauga, ON) and junior Tristan Esprit (Toronto, ON). Junior Brendan Powers (Hudsonville, MI) had a good spring and has worked hard to earn his roster spot. Senior Sam Stearns (Caledonia) and incoming freshmen Garrett Nimmo (Livonnia, MI) and Habin Bang (South Korea) will all compete for a starting spot and playing time in the midfield as well.
The backline will be anchored by junior Chris Buitenhuis (Grand Haven, MI), sophomore Regan Billings (Wichita, KS), sophomore Mark Rougas (Geneva, IL) and newcomer Eric Hamilton (Lauthrup Village, MI). Providing additional depth will be a group that consists of senior Mark Kunnen, newcomers Nick Manzer (Petoskey, MI), Drew Kiel (Middleville, MI), Reid Mitchell (Plainfield, IL), and Josh Binnendyke (Muskegon, MI). These younger players will play an important role this season but more importantly we want these guys to develop in order to be mainstays in the lineup for the years to come.
We certainly have a dilemma as far as who will step in and try to replace NAIA All American-HM Gk, Kyle Breckan. "I think we have four excellent goalkeepers coming in to camp and they will have the opportunity to showcase their skills," states Bell " Freshman Nick Hopkins (Ada, MI) is working his way back from an injury suffered this summer. Miguel Cervantes (Wyoming, MI), Andrew Marsh (Zeeland, MI) and Max Kiel (Middleville, MI) will all be going to battle for the varsity starting job.