#39 Furman Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

Furman Paladins

Overall Rank: #39
#1 SoCon
#39 Furman Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
Furman Team Page


Furman climbed to number 11 in both the NSCAA and Soccer America Polls with just three regular season games left last season, but that was the peak for the Paladins, as they lost four off their next five, including a 2-1 defeat to Wofford in the SoCon Tournament Semifinals, and missed the NCAA Tournament. While last season may be a disappointment overall, there were plenty of bright spots, and many of them came out of last season’s freshmen class. The group was ranked as the 10th best class in the country by College Soccer News coming into last season and it lived up to that billing. Seven of the eight players saw action in at least 13 games, four of whom established themselves as regulars in the starting lineup. They return this year, as do seven other key contributors off last season’s team, creating high expectations for Furman in 2014.

2013 Record: 11-5-2, 2-2-2
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: Doug Allison

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Bobby Edet, F, 7
Assists: Dylan Rowe, D, 3; Evan De Ycaza, F, 3
Shots: Bobby Edet, F, 33
Saves: Sven Lissek, GK, 46

Other Key Returnees: M Tyler Peoples, F Lewis Hawke, M Marco Ortiz, M Clint Ritter, D Eric Steber, D Adrian McInnis

Key Losses: M Martin Ontiveros, M Michael Gandier, D Trevor Haberkorn

Furman was excellent last season defensively, and that should continue into the 2014 season. Goalkeeper Sven Lissek is back, as is the majority of the starting backline from a year ago. Lissek was 12th in the country last year in goals against average, letting in 0.637 per game to go along with a .807 save percentage. Second team All-SoCon defender Trevor Haberkorn has transfered to Cal but the back line will have SoCon All-Freshman team left back Dylan Rowe and junior right back Eric Steber. These players were the core of a defense that ranked 26th in the nation in team goals against average, 0.74, and fifth in shutout percentage, 0.56, as the Paladins kept 10 clean sheets in their 18 games. Furman will look to find a new center back to replace Haberkorn to complete the line. Freshman Kyle McLagen, the MSHSAA Player of the Year in the state of Missouri as a prep senior, and Kevin Edelmann, a junior college transfer who is a native of Germany, are two great candidates. Another player who could feature in the team’s defensive plans is Adrian McInnis. The junior played in 11 games last season, starting all 11, but was limited at the end of the year due to an injury. He could step into the defensive midfield role that the departed Michael Gandier played for most of his career at Furman.

A young group of attacking players are back this season and they will need to improve for Furman. The Paladins have a big time scorer in Bobby Edet, the SoCon Freshman of the Year last season, and midfielder Tyler Peoples, who scored five goals last season, but beyond that, the attacking options are limited. Midfielder Martin Ontiveros, who led the team in assists last season with five and was second in points with 13, is gone. Edet, Peoples and Ontiveros accounted for over 50 percent of Furman’s goals, and with Ontiveros gone, that leaves a big hole to fill. Two players who could step up are sophomores Evan De Ycaza and Lewis Hawke. Both players were impact subs last season and could work their way into the starting lineup. De Ycaza tallied two goals and three assists in 18 games, while Hawke scored three and assisted on another, playing in 13 games. With starting midfielders Clint Ritter and Marco Ortiz back, De Ycaza and Hawke will likely compete for the final starting position. Eli Pinner, a sophomore who played in 16 games in his first season at Furman, scoring two goals, is another player who could be counted on more. Ortiz, De Ycaza, Hawke and Pinner were all a part of the heralded freshman class last season, and with a year under their belt, improved production should be expected.

Final Projection:
If it wasn’t for the late season collapse, Furman was destined for the NCAA Tournament. With all the talent back, Furman should be just as good. The two keys for this season are replacing Ontiveros and finding a center back. There is plenty of talent back off last year’s bench at both the midfield and forward position, so replacing Ontiveros is manageable, but the center back spot should come down to a freshman. It worked for Furman last season, as Haberkorn had a fantastic rookie season, and if one of the incoming players can take hold of the spot, Furman should be headed to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.67 (38th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.74 (26, 1)
Shutout Percentage: 0.56 (5, 1)
Save Percentage:  0.791 (57, 2)


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