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Coven has high hopes for men’s soccer

By Kara Karter

Section: Sports

August 27, 2010

The 2009 season was a frustrating one for the Brandeis men’s soccer team. The squad played its way to a 6-10-2 record, dropping seven games by a one goal margin.

Michael Coven, now entering his 38th year as the team’s head coach, wasn’t looking to make excuses.

“We want to improve… last year wasn’t a good year. We definitely have the ability to be a much better team. We’re just looking for improvement.”

The Judges will be primed for a turnaround in 2010. And Coven believes he has the roster to get it done.

“Central defenders Ari Silver and David McCoy solidify the defense. They both started for a couple years and are very very solid.”

Both Silver ’11 and McCoy ’11 earned University Athletic Association honorable mention last season

Last season’s freshman of the year, midfielder Sam Ocel ’13, will be resigned to the sidelines for with a torn meniscus in his knee. Coven is hopeful that Ocel–who is scheduled to have surgery on Sept. 1–will be available by midseason. However, with the full severity of the injury unknown, it is clear that other players will need to step up to fill the void. Coven highlighted midfielders Lee Russo ’13 and Joe Eisenbies ’13 as players he’ll be looking at to pick up their play.

“They’re both very hard, dedicated workers. I’m sure they’re going to be two of our better players.”

And, of course, if Ocel is able to return “that would be a huge boost,” said Coven.

The addition of central midfielder Theo Terris ’12, a transfer from Boston University, is expected to further boost the team.

“He’s a wonderful player, one of the top players we’ve brought in over the past six, seven, eight, nine years. He is special.”

In 2007, a year after leading Concord-Carlisle High School to the state title, Terris was named the Boston Globe’s All-Scholastic Player of the Year.

Equally impressive is Brandeis’ forward corps. Alexander Farr ’12 led the Judges with seven goals last season while Matt Peabody ’13 netted four in his freshman campaign. Steve Keuchkarian ’11, who has had “moments of brilliance,” in limited minutes, will have time to shine.

“We’re looking for him to score our goals” said Coven.

Nick George ’14 and Ben Applefield ’14 are part of a “very good” freshman class. George was named high school All-American and Applefield All-New England at forward and midfield, respectively.

With three capable starting goaltenders: 2009 starter Matt Lynch ’11, 2008 starter Taylor Bracken ’11 (who missed last season due to injury) and improving Blake Minchoff ’13, there is plenty of skill in net.

And plenty of reason to believe that 2010 will bear fruit to a revival.

“This is a good group. A young group–so I think they’ll make some mistakes as young teams do–but there’s a lot of enthusiasm. The talent is pretty darn good. [There are] some good good soccer players here.”

The team kicks off its season against Rutgers-Camden as part of the Adidas Kickoff Classic at Wheaton on Sept 4. For those who can’t wait that long to see the Judges in action, there will be a preseason game against Framingham State on Friday, August 27 at 7 p.m.

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