Men's Soccer Prepares for 2013 Season
Senior captain Zach Davis
Aug 27, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's soccer team will kick off its 93rd season this weekend with a pair of games in North Carolina. The Mids will play at Davidson on Friday night and will take on Appalachian State on Sunday.
Head coach Dave Brandt will enter his fifth season in 2013 and has the program ready to compete at the top of the Patriot League. The Mids are coming off a 7-7-3 season in 2012, which included a 2-1 win over then-No. 20 George Mason and a 4-2 win over Lafayette, the eventual Patriot League Tournament champions.
Navy had a strong spring season by going 2-2-1 with wins over 2012 NCAA Tournament participants Cornell and VCU. The Mids also defeated 2012 Big Ten Regular Season Co-Champion Penn State, 2-1, last weekend in an exhibition match at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
Following the season opening North Carolina trip, Navy will host St. Francis (N.Y.) on Thursday, September 5 before welcoming Central Connecticut State on Saturday, September 7. Another non-conference highlight includes a nearby road game at UMBC on September 17. The Retrievers advanced to the NCAA Second Round last season.
Navy will open the Patriot League portion of its schedule against newcomer Boston University at Glenn Warner on September 28. Boston U. won seven America East titles in a 15-year span. Loyola also joins the Patriot League this fall and the 2012 MAAC Regular Season champs will play in Annapolis on November 2.
The Army-Navy Cup II will be held in PPL Park in Chester, Pa. on November 8. Over 3,500 fans watched Army-Navy Cup I at the home of the Philadelphia Union last year. Brandt is 3-0-1 against Army during his first four years at Navy.
The newly formatted six-team conference tournament will be contested from November 12-17, with the winner receiving the league's automatic berth to the NCAA College Cup.
After ranking 23rd in the nation in scoring last fall with 1.88 goals per game, Navy is poised to have another high-powered offense in 2013. The Mids return four players who scored at least 10 points a year ago.
Junior Joseph Greenspan (Westfield, N.J.) was Navy's leading scorer in 2012 with 16 points (6 goals, 4 assists). Greenspan netted a hat trick in the win over Lafayette. Greenspan could be used in a variety of roles in 2013.
Sophomore forward Thomas Shiiba (Swarthmore, Pa.) returns after tallying 11 points on three goals and five assists. Shiiba's classmate Jamie Dubyoski (Catonsville, Md.) appears poised to take on a bigger role in the attack after registering a goal and an assist in his first season. Dubyoski had a strong spring and scored in the exhibition match against Penn State.
Freshman Sam Bascom (Cincinnati, Ohio) is a promising rookie who was named the Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year after scoring 85 points (27 goals, 31 assists) in 23 games as a high school senior.
Senior Dave Arnold brings experience to the forward position with 16 points in 52 career games and newcomers Alex Evans (Lansdale, Pa.) and Matthias Pecoraro (Silver Spring, Md.) join the program after standout scholastic careers.
Junior Grant Valenstein (Laguna Hills, Calif.) is a part of a strong group of returning midfielders for the Midshipmen. Valenstein tallied 10 points on four goals and two assists last fall.
Senior Martin Sanchez (Salisbury, Md.) is Navy's most experienced player, having logged more than 3,300 minutes in his three-year career. Sanchez earned freshman All-America honors in 2010 and NSCAA All-Region accolades in 2011.
Senior Guy Skord (Annapolis, Md.) saw increased playing time late in the season last fall and will be looked upon for quality minutes this year. Additional returning midfielders include senior Patrick Sopko (Gloucester, Va.), junior Geoff Fries (Broken Arrow, Okla.), junior Donny Burton (Lancaster, Pa.) and sophomore P.J. Suess (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Brandt has a pair of incoming players in Matt Saunders (Fairfield, Maine) and Daniel Camuti (Germantown, Tenn.) that will be expected to contribute in the midfield. Saunders was Maine's Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2012.
Senior Zach Davis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will serve as Navy's team captain in 2013. Davis has started at a center back position in each of the last two seasons. A standout in the classroom, Davis was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team in 2012.
Sophomore Derek Vogel (Long Beach, Calif.) returns after earning CollegeSoccerNews.com Freshman All-America Third-Team honors in his rookie season. Vogel, a center back, started 14 games and scored 10 points on four goals and two assists. Vogel was tabbed as the Patriot League Rookie of the Year and earned all-league second-team honors.
Senior Nick Dubee (Carolina, R.I.) was also honored as an All-Patriot League Second-Team defender last fall. Dubee played the forward position earlier in his career and has 16 career points (7 goals, 2 assists).
Senior Blake Busse (San Diego, Calif.) gives Navy a fourth defender with strong experience. Busse has logged over 3,000 minutes in 51 career games.
Newcomer Mark Shiiba (Swarthmore, Pa.), the younger brother of Thomas, will bolster Navy's defensive backline, along with sophomore Michael Parker (Owings, Md.), sophomore Sawyer Gilmore (San Diego, Calif.) and freshman Seth Ammons (Cantonment, Fla.).
Brandt has the luxury of two veteran goalkeepers with starting experience on the roster. Senior Aaron Dupere (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) was Navy's starter during his freshman and sophomore campaigns and senior Gavin Snyder (Severna Park, Md.) started 16 games in 2012 for an injured Dupere.
Dupere owns a career record of 12-12-7 and has recorded eight shutouts. Snyder was 7-6-3 in 2012 and posted a pair of shutouts.