#30 Furman Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

Furman Paladins

Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #1 Southern Conference
Furman Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Furman Team Page


When you hear Furman University you automatically think small college.  Well that’s the truth, they are one of the smallest Division I schools in the NCAA.  However, the saying goes, “dynamite comes in small packages,” which is also true about Furman University men’s soccer and head coach Doug Allison.  Since Coach Allison took over the reins in 1995, Furman has established its program to be one of the top in the NCAA. Coach Allison has made a name for himself as well as ranking 15th in the nation with a winning record of 210-94-28.  The Paladins have claimed nine regular season SoCon titles (18 total in program history) and six SoCon tournament titles (11 total in program history) under Coach Allison’s watchful eye, plus multiple NCAA appearances.  Coach Allison and the Paladins are not only game winners but record setters.  In 2002 they increased their SoCon unbeaten streak to 43, surpassing the previous NCAA Division 1 record of 42 and they raised the bar up to 46 in 2003.   Even with a winning record, a winning team, titles and records, Coach Allison still strives for the NCAA title and hoping that he will be able to bring it home for Furman in 2012.

2011 Record: 14-4-4, 4-1-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Doug Allison

Coach Allison and his ability to produce wins and break records is a huge advantage over his competitors going into the new season but he isn’t the only one that can make things happen for Furman.  The Paladins offense is led by returning forwards Coleton Henning and Martin Ontiveros. Henning and Ontiveros both started all 22 matches in the 2011 season and both players ended with 18 points on the season.  Henning netted seven goals out of his 22 shots on goal while Ontiveros scored six out of 36 attempts.  Both players are aggressive shooters and excellent all-around players, but they aren’t the only ones that can make goals.  Walker Zimmerman and Alex Crooks, both defenders, contributed goals for the Paladins last season, five for Zimmerman and three for Crooks.  Being defenders though, they had their work cut out for them.  The Paladins defense only allowed 20 goals throughout the regular and post seasons.

One prime disadvantage that Furman faces going into the new season is finding a keeper after previous keeper Alec Kann signed a contract with United Soccer League’s Charleston Battery. Kann was a rock for the Paladins defense last year playing in every minute of every match and recording 65 saves and only allowing 20 goals.  Coach Allison will be looking to Trent Johnson who was Kann’s backup last year. But Johnson never got to prove his talents on the pitch. Senior Doug Ryan and newcomer Sven Lissek from Germany will be looking to show off their skills in front of the net also. Furman won’t show much strain from the other few losses in players they had from the 2011 season but bringing the new guys up to speed is always a weakness for any team. Luckily Coach Allison has a strong group of returning players to help the newbies find their place on the field.

Final Projection:  
After being shut down in the SoCon tournament semifinals by Elon and losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Charlotte last season, Coach Allison and the Paladin squad will be itching for another title to put in the case.  With only a handful of tough matches in the regular season and being ranked number one in the SoCon, Furman has a great chance of bringing home the SoCon crown.  As long as the offense can continue to make goals and the defense holds strong, the Paladins will have a solid team this year and will most likely make another appearance in the NCAA tournament.  The returning players will need to set a high tempo for the youngsters to follow but as soon as all players are up to speed, Furman will be playing as a well-oiled machine with Coach Allison behind the controls.    

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Coleton Henning, Senior, F/MF, 7
Assists: Martin Ontiveros, Junior, F, 6
Shots: Coleton Henning, Senior, F/MF, 62, Martin Ontiveros, Junior, F, 62
Saves: None

Madness 2013 MLS Draft Rankings:
#44 Walker Zimmerman