Archived: Men’s soccer returns with 11 lettermen
ARCHIVED Volume 55 Issue 1, Tuesday, August 29, 2006. Added April 29, 2011
Heading into his third season as head coach, Tom Wait has seen a gradual increase in his team’s overall talent level and ability each year. Coming off an 8-10-2 record in 2004 and a 10-10-1 record and American Southwest Conference playoff appearance in 2005, it appears that the YellowJackets are headed in the right direction.
Returning with the YellowJackets are a number of familiar faces, including six starters and 11 lettermen. With only two seniors on the squad, the team appears poised to make an extended run at the playoffs this year and for years in the future.
The YellowJackets are strong at the goalkeeper position with a 2005 starter, sophomore Willie Cloyd back between the posts. As a freshman, Cloyd posted a 1.70 goals against average with three shutouts. At 6 feet 2 inches and 211 pounds, he is an imposing figure on the back line.
Backing up Cloyd are two newcomers to the program. The first, sophomore Dusty Evers, is a familiar face around campus. He was the 2005-2006 ASC-East Freshman of the Year in basketball. At 6 feet 8 inches, he will be the tallest keeper in the conference. The other GK fighting for playing time is freshman Chris Plorin, a small but athletic recruit from Grapevine High School.
The Jackets boast a young but experienced group of defenders, with two juniors and four sophomores in the fray for starting spots. Three sophomores, Jonathan Wilcoxson, Daniel Iya and Ryan Rector, have the early edge at starting, but junior Tim Shirly has started 26 games in his career.
Another junior, Daniel Armas, has seen a lot of playing time at the forward position before switching to defender this year. Sophomore Barrett Collins received plenty of action as a freshman and will push for more time this season.
Wait has been thinking about employing a five-midfielder alignment this year, and he has a good mix of freshmen and returnees. Senior Sam Coates and junior Justin Rector are both experienced outside midfielders who have been shown an ability to score.
In the central midfield, Wait lost a couple of blue chippers in Rabo Garba and Joe Davila from last season, but freshmen Sergio Palacios, J.T. Lee and Tony Guillen are eager to step in and contribute. Another player who will be in the mix is sophomore Pete Trevino who started a handfull of games as a freshman.
The forward position is a little thin for the YellowJackets this year, but what they lack in numbers is more than made up in quality. Senior Ryan Potter has scored 24 goals in two seasons and has led the team in scoring each year. If Wait employs a 4-5-1 line up, it will be Potter up front who will be responsible for most of the team’s goals.
Sophomore Rudy Galvan, arguably the best player on the team, earned ASC Offensive Freshman of the Year and Third Team All-Region honors last year. He was the team’s second leading scorer and will be used as both a forward and midfielder depending upon the situation.