Badger Athletics - Spring Hill College News
The Badger seniors of 2013
The Badger seniors of 2013
Men's Soccer - Fri, Aug. 23, 2013

The Spring Hill College men's soccer team has reached an important marker in the program's development under head coach Tim Brooks. The 2013 version of the Badgers will no longer be the young team of the previous three seasons. A team that was once dominated by freshmen and sophomores is now a seasoned corps of juniors and sophomores.

Junior forward Tyler Hartlage of Tampa, Fla., started 17 of 19 games last season and led the Badgers with 11 goals and 23 points. "We're looking for another big year from Tyler," says Brooks. "And we also have senior Patrick Culotta (of New Orleans, La.) returning at another forward, so we should be improved on offense." Junior Mario Escalante of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, started 12 matches for the Badgers in 2012 and will continue to play a vital part this season. Sophomore Andrew McInnis of Mandeville, La., became a real offensive threat for the Badgers in 2012, earning a spot on the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) All-Freshmen Team with six goals and 15 total points.

The midfield line up is more settled this year than it was at this time in 2012. "We are still tweaking our options among our midfielders, but we should be dangerous moving forward," says Brooks. Junior Nick Smith of Huntsville, Ala., has started all 38 games played by SHC as a freshman and sophomore in the midfield and he will be joined by sophomore Jose Scheuren of Miami. "We have increased depth in our midfield this year," Brooks says. "We are going to have different ways of getting results this year and defending the middle will be a key." Adding to the depth, junior Esteban Angel of Guayaquil, Ecuador, started all 19 games for the Badgers last season.

Brooks is also confident in his defensive front. Senior Nick Link of Elizabethtown, Ky., will be a four-year starter and junior Salvador Sanchis of Miami effectively converted from the midfield to defense in the 2011 season. "Our interior defense will be experienced and strong," says Brooks. "We are still experimenting on the outside, but that's mainly due to the fact that we are now much more experienced at that position than last year." Junior Jabulani Thompson of Miami developed into a solid presence in 2012 with 19 starts and junior Dylan Gardner of Waterloo, Ill., appeared in 16 matches as a sophomore.

The goalkeeping position will be handled by returning starter sophomore Jacob Files of Clinton, Miss. "Our goalkeepers have been playing well in the early practices," says Brooks. "And this season will revolve around how well our defense plays. If we can dictate how people attack us, we will win games." Junior Patrick Danner of Tampa who built a 3-1 record in four starts as a freshman in 2011 will also be a factor in goal for the Badgers.

In past seasons, Spring Hill tended to suffer a lack of quality depth in its reserve players, but Brooks has a talented and experienced bench this year. Senior Andres Garcia of Navarre, Fla., returns with three years of experience in the Badger offense while junior Tanyi Mubang of Tampa and sophomore Nicolas Olvera from Miami will look to add punch to the Badgers "up top." The midfield reserves include junior Eric Schwing of Mandeville and sophomore Seth Hagan of Covington, La. On defense, junior Sam Keiser of Athens, Ala., will lead junior Arturo Garcia from Guayaquil and redshirt freshmen Nick De Felice of Chicago, Ill., Lloyd Mohney of Peachtree City, Ga., and Terence Hinton of Mobile's Daphne High School.

Brooks added six freshmen newcomers to his arsenal this season as Thelen Pumford of Lafayette, La., Luiz Ortiz of Tampa, Ricardo Poveda from Guayquil, Juan Sicco of Miami, Victor Villarreal from Flower Mound, Texas, and Ibrahima Ndaw of Mobile each look to make their mark on the 2013 season.

With five SSAC teams ranked in the NAIA Preseason Top 25, the 2012 schedule will be another tough trek for Spring Hill, but Brooks is not intimidated by the high rankings. "Over the last several years the SSAC have been the cream of the crop in the NAIA," he says. "This conference is a tough conference. As coaches, we like the challenge, but more importantly, our players always love the challenge of playing that caliber of talent."

The Badgers open the 2013 season on Saturday at home versus Texas College (1-0) on Library Field in Day Two of the annual Classic on the Hill beginning at 1 p.m.