By Lauren Matheson '13, Sports Assistant
After weeks of preseason camp, the Bronco men's soccer team will finally play in their first match of the season vs. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Fri., Aug. 30 at 7p.m. in their 2013 home opener.
"I think we had a good preseason. The guys came in and were willing to work hard," said Bronco head coach Cameron Rast. "We feel good about Friday and the quality of the opponent we have chosen is exactly what we need. SIUE has played in two preseason matches that they were successful in, they were very good last year and I think playing at home will be good for our guys."
SIUE finished its 2012 season with a record of 13-7-0. Nationally-ranked for much of the 2012 season, the Cougars reached as high as No. 22 and ended the season ranked No. 37 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI).
The Cougars were picked to win the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference on Aug. 26 in a preseason poll by the MVC's coaches. The poll also listed the MVC Preseason All-Conference team announcing senior goalkeeper John Berner, junior midfielder Matt Polster and junior forward Christian Volesky to the team.
The Broncos have gotten their fair share of preseason poll recognition- they were selected to win the 2013 West Coast Conference by the head coaches.
Senior defender Mark Daus and sophomore forward Ryan Masch were named to the 2013 Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team after their stand-out performances last season. Daus was named to the 2012 All-WCC First Team and Masch was named to the 2012 All-WCC Honorable Mention list and the 2012 WCC All-Freshman Team.
The Broncos have a lot to look forward to this season with 13 new names on the roster.
"With the 13 new guys, I think we're going to really have some contributors and I think we are also going to have some that use this season as a development year," added Rast. "Matt Stuerer is going to be good because he is a utility player, he can play in the midfield, he can play in the back line and he's just a good player. Brennan Castro, is going to be a guy that physically will be able to step us and do a good job and Parker Holland is coming along nicely in terms of his preparation."
Sophomore Kendall McIntosh, who just played for the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team in the 2013 Toulon Tournament and the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, will be returning for his sophomore season in the net for the Broncos.
"Kendall McIntosh is the one to watch. He didn't play very much for us last year so he's not as well known but he's going to be tremendous for us this year," said Rast. "Phillip Muscarella will be solid for us and Matt Escobar had a great conference run last year and really made a difference for us. Carlos Montes is tireless and hardworking and Max Ornstil will have a break out year, he was very solid for us last year but I think he will be more impactful this year."