Mustang booters face rebuilding task

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 25 August 2016 at 1:43 pm
082516_MW_Medina boys soccer

Photo by Mike Wertman – Helping to anchor the lineup for the Medina/Lyndonville soccer team this season are Kristian Snyder, Ethan Leonard, Jacob Hoffee, Vassilios Bitsas and Quentin Adkins.

Filling holes caused by the loss of no less than eight starters to graduation, is the key task for the Medina/Lyndonville boys soccer team heading into the upcoming Niagara-Orleans League season.

Senior midfielders Kristian Snyder, who earned first team N-O All-League honors last fall, and Vassilios Bitsas, an Honorable Mention selection, head the Mustangs returning contingent. Snyder had 5 goals and 6 assists and Bitsas 4 goals and 6 assists last year.

That returning group also includes seniors Quentin Adkins (defender), Nick Albone (midfield), Coby Albone (defender), Chase Albone (defender), Garren Bayne (midfield), Kevin Capstick (goalie), Adam Cifelli (midfield), Jacob Hoffee (goalie), Hayden London (midfield), Chase McAdoo (midfield), Dylan Nicholson (defender), Mitchell Perry (midfield) and junior Ethan Leonard (midfield).

“We’ve got a lot of guys back but a lot of them saw only limited playing time last year,” said Coach Steve Luksch. “The key will be if those role players can step up and be the main group this year. If they can do that then we should be OK. We do have a key group of returning starters out there and we have depth.”

The Mustangs lineup also includes juniors Elian Gonzalez (forward), Trenton Jones (forward), Owen Frasier (defender), Alex Allis (forward), Connor Miller (midfield), Norm McDonald (defender), Trevor Hare (midfield) and Cody Crane (goalie) along with sophomores Matt Hess (defender) and Andrew Houseman (midfield).

The key losses to graduation include goalies Tyler Ames and Justin Morgan, forwards Brian Anderson and Zach Harris, midfielders Colm Cooper, Greg Husung and Nick Hinkson and defenders Josh Klotzbach and Chase Pecoraro. Ames, Anderson and Cooper were all first team N-O All-League honorees and Husung a second team selection.

The Mustangs, which went 5-3-4 in N-O competition and 8-5-4 overall last season will face Tonawanda on August 31 at Lyndonville and visit Park on September 6 before opening the league season at home on September 8 against Akron.

“Our league is so competitive every game is a dog fight,” said Luksch.

August: 31 – Tonawanda, 4:30 pm. at Lyndonville
September: 6 – at Park, 4:30 p.m.; 8 – Akron, 4:45 p.m.; 12 – Newfane, 4:30 p.m.; 14 – at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.; 17 – Albion, 10 a.m.; 20 – Wilson, 6:30 p.m.; 21 – at Oracle, 4:45 p.m.; 23 – Global Concepts, 4:30 p.m.; 26 – at Akron, 4:30 p.m.; 28 – Niagara Catholic, 4:30 p.m. at Lyndonville.
October: 5 – at Newfane, 4:30 p.m.; 6 – at Global Concepts, 4:30 p.m.; 7 – Roy-Hart, 7 p.m.; 11 – at Albion, 6:30 p.m.; 14 – at Wilson, 6:30 p.m.