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Wildcat Men’s Soccer Team Young, but Able

Pennsylvania College of Technology opens its men’s soccer season Wednesday at Harrisburg Area Community College with a freshman-dominated squad, but coach Andy Richardson doesn’t see that as a problem.

“I think a lot of them are really ready to step up to the challenge. Many of them come from very good high school programs. … For most of them, it isn’t much of a step to jump into college play they were very talented and strong players in their high school,” said Richardson, who is beginning his 12th season.

Sophomore returnees from last year’s team that went 9-6 overall and was 6-5 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference are Dan Hill, a forward from Muncy; Jason LaPenna, a defender who played high school soccer at Conwell Eagan; Bill Lutz, a defender from Central York; Brandon Pontius, a goalie from Greenwood; and Scott Ribarchik, a forward from Bristol. Another sophomore, although new to the team, is Adam Waigand, a defender from Seneca Valley.

“This year’s team looks to be very talented, with those returning players,” Richardson observed.

Freshmen on whom the coach is counting include mid-fielders/forwards Serkan Colak (an international student from Turkey), Mike Angell (Central York), Ben Corban (Gettysburg), Taylor Harper (Southampton Academy), Jake Ressler (Conrad Weiser), Jhon Soto (Kensington), Ben DeShong (Annville-Cleona), Frank Christmas (Chestnut Ridge), Dave Anoia (Lebanon Catholic), Esmond McKenzie (St. Martin’s), Todd Hengst (Eastern), Lathan Gross (Northeastern). Freshmen goalies are Justin Gibboney (Middleburg) and Ryan Swartz (Muhlenberg), and freshmen defenders are Alex Johnson (Conewago Valley), Bryan Smith (Valley View), Jason Randall (Lansing, N.Y.) and Matt Tuttle (Greene).

Richardson is looking for balance between his offense and defense, noting that “the team really seems to be playing well together. Their passing and possession ability seems very good this year. We seem to have a team that has very strong scoring potential. They’re a goal-minded team. They know how to get it in the net.”

“We’re setting our sights on successful regular season play, and hope to enter the playoffs this year with a high seed that sets us up well,” the coach continued.

“My feeling is I’ve got a very strong team. It should be an exciting year,” Richardson added.

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