Sports

Vulcan Men’s Soccer Picked Ninth in PacWest

August 19, 2015, 4:22 PM HST
* Updated August 19, 4:25 PM
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Lance Thompson hopes that experience can help the University of Hawai’i at Hilo men’s soccer team make a run at the PacWest Conference championship.

Coaches from around the PacWest, however, didn’t see what UH-Hilo’s Director of Soccer sees in his squad. The Vulcans were picked to finish ninth in the conference, based on a vote by the league’s coaches.

“I would say, based on our previous results, that I can totally see how we can be predicted to fit into that spot there in the ninth spot,” Thompson said before his team’s workout session on Wednesday. “I was not surprised at all.”

Last season, the Vulcans finished with a 7-9-2 overall record and 5-6-1 conference mark, good for an eighth place finish. This year, the Vulcans return without leading scorer Mike Reckmeyer, whose team leading eight goals went with him to graduation.

On the bright side for Thompson, entering his third year at the helm of the program, is a whopping 18 seniors.

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“We are extremely experienced, and when you combine that with a group that has a consensus and are all on the same page, we’re going to be a tough out,” Thompson explained.

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So, who replaces Reckmeyer’s scoring ability?

“We’re hoping that Jamie Sporcic is ready to take that role,” Thompson answered. Sporcic was second on the team with three goals and eight total points.

The biggest competition, however, may be between the pipes at the goaltender position. Junior Tyler Hoffman returns for his junior season after recording four shutouts last year. Transfer Joshua Jasper, a senior from Peoria, Ariz., and Hawai’i Academy of Arts and Sciences alum Cassidy Dixon are also vying for the job.

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UH-Hilo will open its season with a neutral site, non-conference matchup against Northwest Nazarene University on Sept. 3. The match will be played at the Waipio Soccer Complex

2015 PacWest Preseason Men’s Soccer Poll (first place votes in parenthesis)

1. Azusa Pacific (12) – 193

2. Fresno Pacific (1) – 166

3. California Baptist – 157

4. Notre Dame de Namur (1) – 156

5. Hawai’i Pacific – 135

6. BYU-Hawai’i – 127

7. Point Loma Nazarene – 118

8. Concordia – 114

9. Hawai’i-Hilo – 72

10. Academy of Art – 70

11. Chaminade – 52

12. Dixie State – 43

13. Dominican – 35

14. Holy Names – 32

2015 Preseason All-PacWest Men’s Soccer Team

Forwards – Keenan Ambrust (Azusa Pacific), Jorge Chedraui (Fresno Pacific), Alvaro Nogales (Fresno Pacific)

Midfielders – Renato Bustamante (Fresno Pacific), Carlos Garcia-Partida (Azusa Pacific), Jackson Groves (Hawai’i Pacific), Daniel tenBosch (Point Loma Nazarene)

Defenders – Tyler Allen (Point Loma Nazarene), Raul Martinez (Azusa Pacific), Tyler Matas (Notre Dame de Namur)

Goalkeeper – Tyler Jaramillo (Azusa Pacific)

Player of the Year – Renato Bustamante (Fresno Pacific)

Defender of the Year – Tyler Matas (Notre Dame de Namur)

Goalkeeper of the Year – Tyler Jaramillo (Azusa Pacific)

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