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Veteran Corps of 13 Lettermen with Eight Starters to Lead the Way for Talented Men's Soccer in 2015

Photo by Peter Stein '84
Photo by Peter Stein '84
Returning 13 lettermen, including eight seasoned starters, Wesleyan men's soccer is poised to continue its winning ways into the 2015 campaign.  The Cardinals have been a top-tier squad in the NESCAC over the last 10 years with eight winning years, posting a collective 93-50-24 overall record (.629) and a comparable 53-28-14 NESCAC mark (.632).  During the last four seasons, Wesleyan has been even more impressive with a 37-18-11 overall record (.644) and a stellar 26-10-4 NESCAC result (.700).  Wesleyan has five trips to the NCAAs under its belt since 2005.

Team tri-captains Hans Erickson '16, Max Jones '16 and Ben Toulotte '16 will provide the leadership as half the varsity seniors.  Jones played in 13 contests a year ago while Erickson and Toulotte are among the eight returning starters, joined by Adam Cowie-Haskell '18, the reigning NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Brandon Sousa '16, Chris Kafina '16, Charlie Gruner '17, Danny Rubenstein '17 and Nick Jackson '18.  Gruner is a two-time first-team all-NESCAC player with two goals and four assists to his credit.  Cowie-Haskell led the Cardinals in scoring a year ago with five goals and an assist.  Sousa had a solid year with two goals and four assists in 2015, giving him five goals and nine assists over his three years as a starter.  Kafina also produced on offense with three goals last season, as he leads the returning players with nine career goals.  Toulotte, Rubenstein and Jackson are all mainstays on defense, an area that his been Wesleyan's forte the last four years.  Wesleyan has a tremendous 0.69 team goals-against average from 2011-14 with 33 shutouts in 66 games.  On 21 other occasions during the stretch, the Cardinals held their opponent to just one goal.  Over the same 66-game span, Wesleyan had a multi-goal game 22 times.

Other letterwinners back from the 8-5-3 squad of 2014 are Dylan Hoy '17, Garrett Hardesty '18 and Taylor Chin '18.  

While Jack Katkavich '17 appeared in three games last season as the only returning goalie with varsity experience, Wesleyan has a talented netminding corps with a healthy battle brewing for the starting spot.  Eric Jasinski '17, Brian Hartnett '18 and Derek Grammar '17 have all been part of the program in the past and newcomer Sam Harris '19 will be in the running for playing time as well.  Harris is one of a bevy of newcomers who will factor into the team's fortune in 2015.  Anywhere from five to 10 freshmen could find their way into varsity action as the season wears on.

Ten of the Cardinals' 15 contests in 2015 will be against NESCAC rivals with the opening conference tilt coming on the road Sat., Sept. 19 at Bowdoin.  Tufts, Wesleyan's home opponent Tues., Sept. 29, is the defending NCAA Division III Champion.  Before facing Bowdoin, Wesleyan will have three non-conference games, beginning with in-state rival Eastern Conn. Tues., Sept. 8 in Middletown.