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College soccer: St. Lawrence defense among stingiest in nation

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CANTON — Led by goalie Aaron Costello, and a strong defense, the St. Lawrence University men’s soccer team figures to be among the top squads in NCAA Division III this season.

The Saints finished with a 17-3-2 overall record last season and reached the NCAA Division III sweet 16 before falling 2-1 in overtime at Amherst (Mass.).

SLU, with most of its key players back, opens the season ranked No. 7 in the nation and begins play at 2 p.m. Friday with a home game against SUNY Cortland.

The only regular the Saints lost was leading scorer Andrew Bednarsky (9 goals-8 assists), but the squad returns players who scored the other 37 goals produced last season.

And SLU also brings back a strong defensive unit, which gave up only 10 goals all of last season and helped Costello, a senior who started for the first time last year, to a school-record 16 shutouts.

“He’ll be one of the first guys to tell you, that as well as our goalies have done, they’ve got a lot of help from the guys in front of them,” Saints coach Bob Durocher said. “Part of that is him providing some leadership. If they get the guys in front of you to make the right decisions, be in the right defensive shape, when those kind of things happen it’s really a team effort. He made some big saves when he had to and his distribution skills are very good. He has the tools. Any time you have that type of achievement, it’s really a group of guys working together.”

Costello, a native of Saratoga Springs, had originally hoped to play at Colgate, where his older brother Adam was a midfielder from 2007-10.

“I was originally looking to go (Division I),” Costello said. “(But) I kind of realized I didn’t want to make such a huge commitment to a DI program. I’ve gone to the St. Lawrence camps ever since I was a little kid. I knew the way (Durocher) played and it’s a real contrast. Bob plays real possession, real good soccer. You see a lot of DI schools and they don’t have really good soccer players, they have outstanding athletes, but they play a lot of kickball. I love Bob’s method and the way that he knows the game and teaches the game.”

Costello rarely saw action in his first two years at SLU, playing behind veterans Brian Abernethy and Nate Goss-Woliner. But both players had graduated by the time last season began and Costello won the job.

“It was a big change, for sure,” Costello said. “I tried to do my best. (Goalkeepers) Coach Chris Custer helped us out with really intense training sessions. Practices were harder than the games.”

As Durocher mentioned, the success enjoyed by Costello and many other SLU goalies before him, comes in large part to the play of the defensive unit.

“It’s tremendously helpful,” Costello said of the team’s defensive starters. “Our average is three shots against me, per game. Sometimes they are just little dribblers. Harry (Copeland), Christian Yarros, Dan Hunt and Austin Roney do a great job in front of me.” With the players that are coming back, the odds are good that the Saints not only could return to the NCAA Tournament, but possibly be seeded high enough nationally that they get to host all their games up to the final four.

“(Bednarsky) will be a big loss, both in his leadership and in his play,” Durocher said. “But I think the captains, Dan Hunt and Mark Provost, are both capable to step up and provide good leadership. The guys are buying into what we are trying to do.

“The biggest thing is last year was last year. I’ve seen teams return everyone but two starters and not make it to postseason play. We have a lot of the pieces back here, but we’ve got to put it together, and we have to see how we can integrate some of the new players in.”

Whether or not this squad can become the first national champion at SLU since 1999 is yet to be seen.

“It could be us,” Costello said. “I’d like for us to be the next ‘99 team. But, it’s going to be tough to top those guys. They are a bunch of really class soccer players. I think we just need to communicate more, be more positive, and when we are down, we are definitely not out of any scenario.”

Men’s Soccer

Outlook: Clarkson endured a tough season a year ago, winning just three times in 15 games and being outscored 38-13. The program has new direction as former Vassar and SUNY Plattsburgh assistant Chris Taylor has taken over as head coach. Scoring was scarce a year ago, but Clarkson does return its two top goal-scorers in Marco Parisi and Tucker Wilcox, who each scored three last season. ... The Saints reached the NCAA Division III sweet 16 last year and lost only one player, however that was leading scorer Andrew Bednarsky (9-8). SLU returns three other big scorers from last year in Mark Provost (6 goals-9 assists), Morgan Smith (5-7) and Dan Hunt (7-2). The Saints also return goalie Aaron Costello (17-2-2, 0.32 goals-against), who set a school record last season with 16 shutouts. The Saints outscored the opposition 46-10 last year. ... SUNY Potsdam finished .500 a year ago, but was only 3-6-1 in SUNYAC play. The Bears return all but one of their top five scorers, including Eduardo Figueroa (6-4), Tom Benedetto (4-4), Alex Minsker (3-5) and Chris Schrum (3-1). SUNY Potsdam also returns starting goalie Nick Davies (6-3, 0.96). ... SUNY Canton had a potent offense last year, scoring 44 goals in 18 games. But the Kangaroos also allowed 30 and finished 9-9. SUNY Canton returns its top three offensive players from a year ago in Nick Escalante (15-11), Tyler Gallagher (7-3) and Abdulai Jagana (6-5).

Clarkson Golden Knights

Coach: Chris Taylor (first year).

2013 record: 3-12 overall (1-7 Liberty League).

Roster: Andrew Akiki (So. D), Nicholas Gutberet (So. D), Kyle Fisk (So. F), Zachary Peck (Jr. D), James Cowie (Sr. F), Zachary Godin (Jr. M), Paul Ancin (Jr. M), Brendan Wise (So. D), Marco Parisi (Jr. F), Alex Lewis (Sr. F), Eric Herberger (So. F), Benjamin Godin (Fr. D), Tucker Wilcox (So. F), Alex Vozzella (Sr. F), Diego Lezama (Fr. F), Troy White (So. M), Brian Kroetz (So. F), Hunter Secor (Fr. D), Kevin Calnan (Fr. F), Mark Volpe (Fr. F), Brian Pfeil (Fr. M), Trevor Blackwell (Sr. D), Robbie Hoover (Jr. F), Maximillian Leetz (Sr. M), Michael King (So. G), Alex White (So. G).

St. Lawrence Saints

Coach: Bob Durocher (25th year, 306-99-43).

2013 record: 17-3-2 (7-1).

Roster: Ryan Roethel (Jr. G), Kevin O’Neill (Fr. D), Noah Bunton (So. M/F), Harry Copeland (Jr. D), Jonathan Mendoza (Jr. M), Manny Collins (Jr. F), Jamal Samaroo (Sr. F), Rob Brandell (So. M), Christian Barral-Arteta (So. M), Mark Provost (Sr. M), Cameron Pilarski (Fr. F), Savefe Brouk (Jr. D), Jeremiah Bunton (Sr. M/F), Ryan Grant (Jr. M/D), Morgan Smith (Jr. F), Ryan Roche (Fr. F), Luis Jimenez (Fr. M), Matt Stevenson (So. D), Ross Suitor (So. D), Austin Roney (Sr. D), Dan Hunt (Jr. D), Sars Bowman (Sr. M), Praveen Balakumaran (Jr. F), Christian Yarros (Jr. D), Chandler Short (Fr. M), Aaron Costello (Sr. G), Edward Gonzalez (Jr. M), Myles Cecchetelli (Fr. M/D), Christopher Schroeder (Fr. D/F), Sean Houston (So. G).

SUNY Potsdam Bears

Coach: Adam Parker (5th year).

2013 record: 9-9-1 (3-6-1 SUNYAC).

Roster: Jesse Kohler (Jr. G), Nick Davies (So. G), Mario Riccardi (Jr. M), Ben Firlit (Jr. F), Brian Emery (Sr. D), Chris Schrum (So D), Stephen Auyer (Jr. F), Chris Mayrose (Fr. M), Matthew Wagner (Fr. D), Patrick Mylod (Jr. M), Eduardo Figueroa (Sr. F), Tom Benedetto (Jr. M/F), Loren Traynor (So. M), Johnny Zator (Jr. M), Andrew Doody (Jr. D), Kyle Cronin (Jr. M), Cliff Bondi (Sr. F), Ian Warren (Fr. D/M), Travis Jordan (Sr. D), Matt Parsons (So. M), Alex Minsker (Sr. F), Alex Griffith (Jr. D), Conor Engle (Sr. M), Eric Cassidy (Jr. M), Brandon Laurin (So. F), James Turcott (Jr. D/M), Colton Schaeffer (Fr. M), Bryan Archer (Fr. M), Keagan Briggs (Fr. G), Rondely Rawlins (Sr. F/M).

SUNY Canton Kangaroos

Coach: Tim Penrod (2nd year).

2013 record: 9-9.

Roster: Patrick Anunziatta (Fr. G), Erdous Lebron (Fr. D), John Forte (Sr. D), Jacob Jones (Fr. D), Abdoulie Jawara (Jr. D), Ricardo Eugenio (Fr. M), Jordan Barriere (So. M/D), Hunter Mowery (So. M), Jose Menendez (Jr. M), Nick Escalante (Jr. F), Randy Mayer (Fr. F), Brendan Shannon (Jr. D), Tyler Gallagher (Jr. F), Maurizio Paniconi (Fr. F), Prince Adu Gyamfi (Fr. M/F), Abdulai Jagana (Sr. F), Josh Geller (Fr. F), Nick Magliano (Fr. F), Jakob Knapp (Fr. D), Devin Gruneisen (Sr. D), Matt Malchoff (Fr. D/M), Matthew Lindley (Fr. D/M), Austin Lamay (Fr. G), Rudy DeNinno (Fr. G).

WOMen’s Soccer

Outlook: Clarkson struggled offensively a year ago, resulting in a five-win season. The Golden Knights scored just nine goals in 17 games. Clarkson brings back its top scorer from a year ago in Nikki Carfi, who had one goal and two assists. Clarkson also returns starting goalie Kim Kenline (3-9, 1.27 goals-against average). ... SLU lost its leading scorer, Julia Friesen, who played a role in 13 of the 25 goals the team scored last season. The Saints do return their other top scorers from last year, including Emily DePoy (4 goals-2 assists), Samantha Rock (4-1) and Holly Ward (0-6). SLU also returns starting goalie Kelsey West (5-3-2, 1.05). ... SUNY Potsdam struggled to score goals a year ago, finishing with only 13 in 17 games. The Bears also lost their top two scorers from a year ago but return Kaylen Van Wagner, who registered two goals and two assists. SUNY Potsdam also returns starting goalie Michaela Cole (4-5-1, 1.21). ... SUNY Canton had no trouble scoring goals last year, finishing with 35, but the Kangaroos also couldn’t stop them, giving up 36. The Kangaroos lost their top four scorers to graduation. The returning leading scorer is former Salmon River standout Karyss Terrance (2-6).

Clarkson Golden Knights

Coach: Sarah Raymond (4th year, 19-26-4).

2013 record: 5-12 overall (1-7 Liberty League).

Roster: Kim Kenline (Sr. G), Christine Wright (Jr. M), Tori Sailor (So. M/D), Cailey Nieto (Sr. D/F), Rachel Loecher (So. D), Paige Spittler (Fr. M), Abby Gruneisen (Fr M/F), Lauren Flynn (So. F), Taylor Abraham (Sr. D), Ashley DeHond (So. D/M), Meranda Turner (Fr. D), Megan Strijek (Jr. F), Nikki Carfi (Jr. F), Anna Demasi (Jr. F), Kanoe Eichholz (So. M), Brianna Weber (So. M/D), Olivia Chopski (So. M), Madison Kather (Fr. F), Aubrey Harris (Sr. M/D), Christina Pollard (So. M/F), Meggie Manzo (So. M), Dani Felty (Jr. M), Courtney Black (Fr. M/D), Caitlin Swanson (So. M), Sierra Spring (So. G).

St. Lawrence Saints

Coach: Franco Bari (6th year, 46-30-11).

2013 record: 9-4-3 (3-4-1).

Roster: Jackie Sovie (Fr. G), Kelsey West (Jr. G), Mimi Coppinger (Jr. F), Elysa Doldo (Jr. D), Caroline Crandall (Jr. M), Kaleigh White (Fr. F/M), Laura Topf (Sr. M/D), Emily DePoy (Jr. M/D), Katie Stames (Fr. F), Laura Moore (Fr. M), Amanda Hamilton (Jr. F/M), Hannah Calvelli (Jr. D), Adriana Morra (Jr. D), Emma Fleming (Jr. D), Lindsay Geier (So. M), Holly Wark (Sr. M), Nyssa LaClair (Sr. F), Katelyn Daley (Jr. D/M), Rachel Muskin (Fr. D/M), Hannah Merriam ((Fr. F), Kelly Mahoney (Fr. D/M), Samantha Rock (Jr. F), Taylor Goldsborough (So. M), Julia Mitiguy (So. M), Amy Reunert (So. D), Alexandra Weatherbie (SR. G), Mackenzie Collins (Sr. M/D), Samantha Taillon (Fr. D/M), Elena Dauphinais (Sr. F).

SUNY Potsdam Bears

Coach: Mark Misiak (4th year).

2013 record: 5-11-1 (2-7 SUNYAC).

Roster: Val Driscoll (Fr. G), Nina Komosinski (Sr. F/M), Chloe Hay (Jr. D), Alli Cleaver (Sr. M), Jess Sterns (Jr. M), Andrea Aldous (Fr. D), Becca DeRubertis (Fr. M), Mackenzie Cotter (Jr. M), Alex Guidarelli (So. F), Madison Mahar (Fr. D), Jaci Morr (Fr. D), Bri Thibeau (Jr. G), Kate Clauss (Sr. M), Sara Sinnigen (Jr. D), Lexi Barnes (Fr. M), Kristin Webster (Sr. M), Morgan Robbins (Fr. F), Erin McClusky (Jr. F), Brenna Vukelic (Jr. F), Amanda Peterson (So. D), Michaela Cole (So. M/F), Emily Lapage (Jr. G), Kaylen Van Wagner (So. M), Karley Cree (Jr. M), Kaleigh Zappia (So. D), Sara Livecchi (So. D).

SUNY Canton Kangaroos

Coach: Sarah Arsenault (first year).

2013 record: 7-9-3.

Roster: Bernadette O’Connell (So. G), Brittany Pierce (Jr. M/F), Bri Slater (Fr. F), Alyshia Murray (Fr. D/M), Liz Lynch (Fr. F), Bailey Grace (Fr. D), Amanda Fleming (Jr. D), Janelle Stewart (Fr. D), Fran Trombley (Jr. M), Kayla Groesbeck (So. D), Paige Hart (Jr. D), Kaleigh Foran (Fr. M), Katei Lamica (Fr. M/D), Tressa Goolden (Sr. M/D), Shannon Kelleher (Fr. F/M), Karyss Terrance (Jr. F).

VOLLEYBALL

Outlook: Clarkson made its second straight appearance to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals last season and opens this season ranked No. 20 in the nation. Clarkson lost some of its top players to graduation, but returns Aishvina Arasu and Victoria Kirkemo. ... The Saints had a productive season last year and return several of their top performers, including Lexi Brown, Cristina Deschaine and Rebecca Briggs. ... SUNY Potsdam lost several of its top players from last season but does return Liza Fields and Gabby Arana. ... SUNY Canton has enjoyed success the past two years, hosting the USCAA championship event for two straight years. Last year the Kangaroos won 28 matches and return top players like Kelsy Cornish, Jessia Reynolds and Morgan Bills.

Clarkson Golden Knights

Coach: Johan Dulfer (9th year).

2013 record: 36-7 overall (12-0 Liberty League).

Roster: Hannah Jones (So.), Hayley Elliott (Fr.), Evanne Jimenez (Fr.), Lauren Hutchinson (Jr.), Aishvina Arasu (Jr.), Victoria Kirkemo (Jr.), Sierra Rhoades (So.), Kristen Orfandini (Sr.). Rachael Aird (Fr.), Adrienne Walker (Sr.), Brooke Butkovsky (Sr.), Danielle Farabee (Jr.), Kartina Lane (So.), Kirstie Shurie (Jr.).

St. Lawrence Saints

Coach: Shelly Roiger (4th year, 77-63)

2013 record: 21-12 (8-5).

Roster: Mariah Dignan (Jr.), Marisa Turner (Jr.), Cristina Deschaine (Jr.), Lexi Brown (Jr.), Jenna Street (Sr.), Catherine Rowell (So.), Masha Kolesnikova (Fr.), Katherine Kull (Fr.), Rebecca Briggs (So.), Amanda Brooks (So.), Rebecca Doser (Jr.), Katarina Marczeski (So.), Maddy Ruehl (Fr.), Rachel Pineda (Fr.), Kelly Dillon (Fr.).

SUNY Potsdam Bears

Coach: Josh Stoke (2nd year).

2013 record: 15-16 (5-4 SUNYAC).

Roster: Gabby Arana (Sr.), Allie Romaniello (Jr.), Sloane Campbell (So.), Rachel Topf (Fr.), Casey Chase (Jr.), Sharon Ofori (Sr.), Tia Wright (Sr.), Felicia Barr (So.), Amara Pascuito (So.), Katie Agar (Fr.), Annie Smith (Sr.), Sarah Becker (So.), Chelsea Sunday (Jr.), Kelsey Tompkins (Fr.), Kelsea Healis (Fr.), Liza Fields (Sr.).

SUNY Canton Kangaroos

Coach: Carol LaMarche (3rd year, 47-23).

2013 record: 28-9.

Roster: Mackenzie Mynter (Sr.), Kelsy Cornish (So.), Kiana Archer (Jr.), Robyn Carroll (Jr.), Jessica Reynolds (Sr.), Rachel Lowther (Jr.), Caitlin Grimshaw (Sr.), Jenea Shoemaker (Fr.), Emily Thomas (Sr.), Morgan Bills (Jr.), Morgan Wicks (So.), Kristyn Sengillo (Fr.).

FIELD HOCKEY

Outlook: The Saints experienced a strange season last year, going 6-11 despite scoring as many goals as they gave up. SLU was strong at the start of games, outscoring the opposition 20-11 in the first half, but was outscored 26-17 in the last half and overtimes. SLU’s leading scorer, Lizzy Saward (7 goals-3 assists) graduated, but the second-leading scorer from last year, Kara Pelosi (5-2) returns, as does Samantha Haab (5-1). SLU will also have to replace goalie Nicole Matos, who played all but 55 minutes of last season.

St. Lawrence Saints

Coach: Fran Grembowicz (15th year, 147-92).

2013 record: 6-11 overall (2-4 Liberty League).

Roster: Jamie Oriol (So. F/M), Mikaela Thompson (Jr. F/M), Shawna Thompson (Sr. D), Olivia White (So. F), Molly Manning (Jr. F), Anna Hughes (So. F/M), Samantha Haab (Jr. F), Carly Dziekan (So. M), Camille Burger (Fr. M/F), Kelly Burke (So. D), Chapin Dwyer (Sr. D), Caroline Phinney (Jr. M), Kara Pelosi (Jr. D), Katie Klein (So. F), Casey Ostler (Fr. D/M), Molly Wood (Fr. M/D), Maggie Whelley (So. D), Maggie Wraight (Fr. F), Erica French (Sr. F), Maize Rosenheimer (Fr. D/M), Tori Shaffer (Fr. D), Brittany Eastman (Fr. D/M), Kim Haab (Jr. G), Julia Hudson (So. G).

CROSS COUNTRY

Outlook: SLU’s men’s team will be led by sophomore Thomas Caufield, who finished 145th at the national meet, leading the Saints to a 29th-place finish. Other top runners on the men’s team returning are Spencer Patterson, Trevor Bibb and Wesley Kirui. SLU’s women’s team has made six straight NCAA appearances and won 12 straight Liberty League titles. The squad will be led by Anne Martino, Anna Rabideau and Lisa Grohn.

St. Lawrence Saints

Coaches: John Newman (men), Kate Curran (women).

Men’s Roster: Tyler Baldino (Sr.), Adam Bankert (Jr.), Trevor Bibb (Sr.), Thomas Caulfield (So.), Daniel Driscoll (Sr.), Benjamin Fishbein (So.), Evan Garvey (So.), Bryan Geiger (Jr.), Jason Hardacre (Jr.), Andrew Jarombek (So.), Wesley Kirui (Jr.), Dennis Korir (So.), Alec MacCrory (So.), William Manning (So.), Phil Marshall (Jr.), Jeff Mogavero (Jr.), William Moynihan (Jr.), Spencer Patterson (Jr.), Joshua Ringer (So.), Harrison Sloan (Jr.), Joe Smith (So.), Scott Smolensky (Sr.), Fletcher Stames (So.), Ellis Toll (Jr.), Aaron Tompkins (Sr.).

Women’s Roster: Alexis Bruno (Fr.), Natalie Casey-Sanger (So.), Sophia Dastoli (So.), Madeline Funk (Jr.), Lisa Grohn (So.), Margaret MacDonald (Jr.), Anne Martino (Sr.), Courtney Mullen (Jr.), Claire Pacione (So.), Carrie Pomainville (Fr.), Anna Rabideau (Sr.), Melanie Swick (Jr.), Jenny Van Ooyen (Jr.), Rachael Waldrop (So.).

SUNY Canton Kangaroos

Coaches: John Kennedy (men), Katie Kennedy (women).

Men’s Roster: Bryant Cotey (Sr.), Shawn Deibel (So.), Austin Johnston (Sr.), Tom Lauzon (Sr.), Matthew Lindke (Fr.), Dan Loskowitz (So.), Josh May (Fr.), Tosin Olajuyi (So.), Ryan Teal (Fr.), Andrew Wilson (So.).

Women’s Roster: Keara Byrne (Jr.), Patti Carpenter (Fr.), Laura DiFrenza (Jr.), Bri Herd (So.), Kim McCarthy (Fr.), Jess Nagy (Jr.), Samantha Smith (Fr.), Rachel Youngers (Fr.).

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