The 2018 Alfred State men's soccer team is ready to return to the ACAA Tournament after narrowly missing a bid to the postseason last year. The team will need to achieve balance on both sides of the ball to put themselves in contention for a spot in the four team tournament.
Coach Jonathan Hoover has 15 players with experience on the squad as he enters his fourth season at the helm of the program. He will be counting on Chris Balys (Holley), Ryan Johnson (Sodus), and Justus Hoffmann (Hamburg) in the midfield and Christian Jankuloski (Webster Shroeder) in the defensive backfield.
- Balys and Johnson were both All-ACAA selections last season. Balys finished last year with a goal and assist as a defender last year while Johnson had three goals and an assist last year.
- Hoffmann returns to the team after a year absence from the team. He netted a goal in nine games in 2016.
- Jankuloski will be counted on his team leadership and his leadership on the defense in front of a pair of young goalies. He has played in 33 games and has one goal and one assist.
Nico Coria (Honeoye Falls Lima), Trevor Aldrich (Hornell), and Maliq Burton (Sodus) will be three newcomers that will be counted on for the blue & gold. Coria will see a great deal of time in net with junior Zack Barker (Steubenville, OH). Aldrich will team with Jankuloski in the defensive backfield while Burton will be asked to contribute in the midfield.
The Pioneers scored only 1.19 goals per game last year and the team will look to add some more scoring punch. Hoover hopes Hoffmann, Albert Senyah (Long Island/Central Islip), and Ade Adesanya (Brooklyn/Progress) will lead the scoring attack.
Hoover is excited for the start of the season "The new players have gelled well with the returning players. Our team is excited about the news of joining the AMCC next year and they want to have a strong showing in our final year of the ACAA."
Alfred State opens up the season on Friday evening (8/31) when they host Ithaca. The team then hits the road for most of September before finishing the season with seven of their last contests at Pioneer Stadium. The ACAA Tournament will be held at Finlandia University the first weekend in November.