McKeesport, Pa. - Through their third season of competitive action, the Penn State Greater Allegheny men's soccer team look to be a contender in the Penn State University Athletic Conference.
"Coming off a solid camp week where the men worked on fitness and team building, we are ready to get in gear and start focusing on the defensive and attacking sides of our game," said third-year head coach Achilles Vassilicos. "As we continue to rebuild, I am sure we will find our groove as the season continues on."
"Having three of our four All-Conference student-athletes move on to University Park is going to be the major loss for Greater Allegheny coming into this new season," said coach Vassilicos. "But at the same time, this opens opportunities for both our returning players and our new recruits to step up their game and make their mark."
The GA men's soccer team finished their second year of action with a 6-8-2 record overall, posting a 4-4-2 record in the PSUAC, and earning themselves a place in the First Round PSUAC Playoffs, where they dropped to Beaver 2-0.
"The team welcomes back sophomore midfielder Marin Marina (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin), who meshed well with the team as he earned the First-Team All-Conference award for his efforts on the field," said coach Achilles. "Junior midfielder Gerardo Diaz Perez (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico/Immaculate Conception Academy) has matured and grown from last season, making this an even more enjoyable duo to watch. Finally getting time on the field this season is sophomore Giorgio Albino Castillo (Isabela, Puerto Rico/Dr. Heriberto Domenech), as he recovered strong following his ACL injury, which resulted in missing last years action," said Vassilicos.
"Adding depth to the roster are returning players sophomore goalkeeper Alex Wood (Rockville, Md./St. John's College High), sophomore defender Nick Jugovic (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin), sophomore midfielder Nick Andrews (Penn Hills, Pa./Serra Catholic), sophomore midfielder Bimal Bhattarai (Pittsburgh, Pa,/Baldwin), and senior defender Diwas Timsina (Bhutan/Baldwin (Pa.))."
"We will be looking to our recruits to take their game to the next level and help the team move forward. Among the Greater Allegheny recruits is gifted freshman midfielder, Ricardo Dip (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Commonwealth), who is capable of becoming an impact player in the squad," said coach Achilles. Other very promising recruits include freshman defender Nick Schiller (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin), freshman defender Zebulon Hammond (Philadelphia, Pa./Maritime Academy Charter), freshman forward Kyle Griffin (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin), freshman midfielder Chandra Gautam (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brashear) , freshman midfielder/GK Belmo Nurkic (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin), and freshman midfielder Dinesh Nepal (Dormont, Pa./Keystone Oaks). Our freshmen recruits especially will have a big adjustment ahead of them from the high school game to the collegiate game. But so far, they are working well and progress is positive," said Coach Achilles.
Sophomore forward Jake Thieret (Port Vue, Pa./South Allegheny) has transferred from Washington & Jefferson to boost the offense. "Returners Marina and Diaz Perez will push their team as they now have experience on the field for Penn State Greater Allegheny."
The men's soccer team opened their campaign on August 28th, as they overcame Southern State Community College 3-0. The men look onward September 10th, as they welcome Westmoreland County Community College to Francis McClure Intermediate School for a 3 p.m. kick-off, following the women's match.