Hudson Valley Men’s Soccer Kicks off Season Sunday
CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, Aug. 24, 2007
With only five players returning and a schedule that includes four teams ranked in the preseason poll, second-year Hudson Valley Community College men’s soccer coach Travis Cooke would have every right to expect some bumps in the road in 2007. However, Cooke is extremely optimistic about this year’s team.
“We have a very talented group this year,” Cooke said. “We might struggle early, but if we can come together, I expect we can make a deep run into the Region III playoffs.”
A pair of freshman will be expected to provide scoring punch for the Vikings at the forward position. Mike Ackerman (Castleton/Maple Hill High School) led all Section II performers with 34 goals as a senior, helping Maple Hill High School to a perfect season and a state championship. Tony Greene (Schenectady/Colonie High School) was one of Colonie High School’s leading scorers as a senior.
Sophomore Ryan Yurista (Schodack/Maple Hill High School) played in 19 games as a freshman and will be the veteran of the midfield group. Freshman Jerome Reynolds (Albany/Albany High School) and freshman Dinwal Gray (Jamaica) are expected to man the center-midfield area.
“Gray and Reynolds are very talented and have great individual skills. The key for us to be successful is that they use those skills and put them into team play,” said Cooke.
Sophomores Sean Fitzgerald (Saratoga Springs/Saratoga Springs High School) and Robert O’Connor (North Greenbush/Columbia High School) anchor a defense that is the most veteran group on the team.
Freshman Trent Mendrysa (East Greenbush/Columbia High School), who led Columbia High School to a Suburban Council White Division title last year, is expected to get the start in goal.
Hudson Valley opens the 2007 campaign at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 26 against Genesee Community College. Genesee comes to Troy ranked No. 14 in the preseason NJCAA Division III poll. The tough schedule also includes a trip to perennial power and second-ranked Herkimer County Community College on Thursday, September 6, and home dates No. 9 SUNY Cobleskill on September 12 and No. 8 Ulster County Community College on October 17.