MOC men's soccer preview
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 2, 2010 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- The emphasis for Mount Olive's men's soccer team this summer hasn't just been on scoring more goals.
The emphasis has been on finding more goal scorers.
The Trojans return their three leading scorers from last season -- Scott Mitchell, Matthew Cargile and Ramon Gallardo. The team averaged fewer than two goals a game in 2009.
Mount Olive scored one goal or fewer in 10 of its 17 games a year ago, and lost five one-goal decisions.
Freshmen Rocket Court and Marcus Hutchinson, and junior college transfer Vieux Sarr have shown potential to contribute offensively during preseason practices.
"We can defend, we just can't score right now," said Mount Olive head coach Jerry Riggs. "We've got some guys we've thrown into roles and we're trying to find the right chemistry and right unity with guys on the field. We need anybody to score right now."
The Trojans finished 6-10-1 last season and return six starters from that team. Mount Olive went 3-7-1 in Conference Carolinas play last season and lost its opening-round, tournament game to Limestone.
The Trojans were picked seventh in the 2010 Conference Carolinas preseason poll. Mount Olive received 36 points in the poll to finish three points behind sixth-place Queens and 10 points ahead of eighth-place Erskine.
Defending conference champion and 2009 NCAA Division II national runner-up Lees-McRae received eight of 10 first-place votes to finish first in the poll. Second-place Limestone picked up the remaining two first-place votes.
The Trojans finished the 2009 regular season with a 1-0 win at conference foe Erskine and a 1-1 tie at home against 13th-ranked Anderson. Mount Olive had a 5-2-1 record at home in 2009.
"For the returners, we want to instill upon the new players the mentality that we had last year and that we can keep things going," said Mitchell. "We need to really push them toward what we're trying to do here. As seniors, this is obviously our last year that we're able to play and we're not trying to fall short of what we think our potential is."
The Trojans kick off their 2010 season today at home against Florida Southern. Game time is 7 p.m. at Amon Field.