Seniors Will Broomfield, Matthew Robertson and Tim Crawford will lead a Hartwick College men’s soccer squad that returns 15 players from last season.
Coach John Scott said the 2013 edition of the Hawks is the deepest squad he’s had in his four years. The Hawks kick off their Division I schedule at 7 p.m. Friday at Fairfield. Scott, in a media release sent by the school, says expectations are high.
“We’re looking for at least fourth in the MAC,” Scott said of a position in the Mid-American Conference that would get his squad into the conference playoffs. “Our guys are good enough, they work very hard and hopefully we get the reward in the end.”
Hartwick is coming off a 5-10-2 season that included three victories in the Hawks’ final 12 games.
“We were a very young squad last year,” said Scott, who is looking to guide the Hawks to their first winning record since 2009. “We felt good about the quality of players we brought in but half our starting 11 were underclassmen. The positive to that was that our young players gained valuable experience for what lies ahead.”
The Hawks lost four players to graduation. They also brought in nine freshmen, three of whom stand 6-foot-2 or taller.
“If we stay healthy, the coaching staff is going to have a lot of selection decisions, which is very good,” Scott said.
The Hawks appear to be strong in the middle. Experienced central midfielders Broomfield, Chris Walter and Rio Dhat, along with newcomers Jamie O’Grady and Mike Rood, will give Scott plenty of options in the middle.
Rood played five varsity seasons for Susquehanna Valley. He scored three goals in the Sabers’ 5-2 victory over Oneonta High in last season’s Section Four Class B title game.
“We’ve got power, strength and options in the center mid,” Scott said. “Will is back with hopefully his injuries behind him. Chris and Rio are both experienced players for us. O’Grady is a hard-nosed midfielder and Mike is technically sound.”