Men’s soccer signs eight new recruits, looks toward next fall’s season

Andrew Clausen

Eight recruits signed with the Appalachian State University men’s soccer team for the 2013 season.

The recruits that make up the incoming class are Jackson Allen, Simon Burke, Stephen Chapman, Donovon Japp, Zach Joens, Tommy Labriola, Ben Steen and Keegan Tanaka, according to goasu.com.

The Mountaineers, a team that reached the conference semifinals for three straight seasons, hope the new recruits can help replace the eight seniors from last year’s team.

 

App State has struggled to score goals for the past two seasons and hopes that the new recruits will help bolster its offense.

Matt Nelson, who is entering his second season as head coach, said he is excited about the potential of the new recruits.

“We think they can be really good and translate right away to the college level,” Nelson said.

After a disappointing finish to the 2012 season, Nelson said he expects each recruit to push current players and compete for a starting position on the team.

“We had to deal with some injuries this past season and our record didn’t indicate the actual level of talent we had on the team,” Nelson said. “We’re going to be a young team next year so all positions are up for grabs.”

Nelson said he believes that having open competitions at every position won’t allow the players to become apathetic and will help everyone on the team get better. He also mentioned that not only the players, but the coaches as well, have to be at their best.

“With the youth on this team, it’s important that the coaching staff keep the team focused throughout the season,” Nelson said. “We’re going to have some shaky parts in the beginning, and it’s on our shoulders as coaches to teach these kids and improve our own in-game management.”

The Mountaineers finished last season 8-7-4 (2-3-2 SoCon) and lost to Wofford by penalty kicks in the SoCon semifinals.

The men’s soccer team will start its next season in fall 2013.

Story: Matthew Smith, Intern Sports Reporter