By JERAMY STOVER, Guest Reporter
As the leaves begin to change and the air starts to cool, the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s soccer season has arrived.
The Wolverines are going through some changes that start at the very top. First-year head coach Matt Quirk has been busy all summer getting his team in top shape for the start of the season on Aug. 16.
Quirk returns 22 players for the 2014-15 campaign and has added five freshmen to the squad in hopes to improve from last year’s 6-10-2 record which resulted in a WHAC playoff appearance. Second-year assistant coach Justin Hunter said that goalkeeping was a weakness that the team looks to improve this season.
“Between injuries and inconsistency, things were shaky in between the posts, he said.”
Hunter also added that “team morale was easily shaken” last season.
Junior Andrew Pietrzak is the returning starting goalie for the Wolverines. Sophomore Erik Beas will be pushing for his job this season and his work in the offseason has not gone unnoticed.
“Beas has been working hard this off season because he has come out guns a blazing this pre-season,” Hunter said.
The five new freshmen are Stephen Caruso (Novi), Brody Hall (Corunna), Richard Hodnicki (Southgate Anderson), Armin Mujanovic, and Andrew Newton (Canton).
A new member the Wolverines are hoping makes his presence felt is Lucas Cosso, a senior midfielder from Bauru, Brazil.
“His ability is phenomenal,” Hunter said of his new senior. “His first touch and ability to control a ball is one of the best on the squad.”
When it comes to his spot on the team, Hunter said that “he has made his position battle interesting, to say the least.”
The Wolverines lost only two seniors to graduation, including Damjan Stamenkovik, the second-leading scorer on last year’s team with seven goals in 16 games played.
A talented freshmen class will look to help fill the hole left by Stamenkovik. Hunter believes Cosso will help, stating that “he may be a guy to replace Dam.”
UM-Dearborn kicked off its season August 16 in a road contest with Cleary University. The Wolverines fell 5-1.