WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2004
Back to Basics
Aug. 25, 2004
After spending last six years building JU women's soccer into one of the best programs in the Atlantic Sun Conference, former Dolphin standout Mike Johnson returns as head coach of the JU men's soccer program for which he once starred. Johnson's transition will be made easier thanks to the return of nine starters from last year, including five seniors and a former all-conference defender who missed the entire 2003 season due to injury.
The hiring of Johnson paid immediate dividends as the Dolphins enjoyed their most productive and spirited spring session in recent years. Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Greg Williams and fifth-year senior defender Nick Comerford have helped Johnson provide strong leadership and direction with their work ethic on and off the field.
"The team had a successful spring, showing a new attitude and higher performance level than at any time last year," said Johnson. "We are a very talented and balanced unit with youth and experience."
With senior forwards Richard Blackburn and Ryan Potts also back in the starting lineup, the Dolphins have the nucleus to return to the upper echelon of the Atlantic Sun Conference and challenge for a spot in the NCAA College Cup.
"We know we have the potential to play at a high level," said Johnson, who led the JU women's soccer team to the A-Sun title and NCAA College Cup in 2000. "But we need to start expecting to win on a daily basis in order to turn the corner and change the direction of the program."
Sophomore Tommy Krizanovic will provide support up front after scoring three goals as a true freshman. He showed more consistency during spring practice and will be counted on to add a much-needed scoring punch.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Hole could also prove to be a spark after missing the 2003 season with a knee injury.
Sophomores Tyler Stansberry and Lonnie Bascome will also make an impact in 2004. Stansberry tied for second on the team a year ago with seven points (2g, 3a), while Bascome's speed makes him difficult to mark. Junior Alex Sisemore will also see action in the midfield after playing in 15 matches last season.
Junior Brian Kallman also returns after starting all 17 matches in 2003. Junior Frank Macias will compete with four true freshmen - Brian Cocciolo, J.T. Hanna, John Marquart and Austin Earl - for playing time alongside the two experienced backers.
Junior Gerrit deBoer and redshirt freshman Loren Shumard will compete to be the backup in goal. Schedule
2004 MEN'S SOCCER