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Men's soccer ready for the new season to dawn

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's soccer team celebrates its 50th anniversary this season, expecting to show the same Bobcat tenacity as ever, with renewed vigor under the guidance of first-year head coach Stewart Flaherty.

"We look forward to representing this great institution in a manner that will make all students, alumni and staff proud," Flaherty said of the upcoming season.

The Bobcats will play their usual demanding NESCAC schedule, and also face NCAA tournament teams Husson and St. Joseph's in non-conference play.

Bates opens on the road at NESCAC foe Williams College on Saturday at 1:30pm (Video), then plays its home opener against defending GNAC champion St. Joe's on Tuesday, September 11th at 7:30pm at Garcelon Field (Video). The Crosstones will perform the national anthem, and game jerseys will be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to a 9/11 Families fund. Those interested in buying a game jersey are encouraged to email Flaherty at sflahert@bates.edu.

The Bobcats marked a positive preseason, not to mention some impressive offseason club soccer play, with a 2-0 win over Bowdoin in a scrimmage this week at Russell Street Field.

Returning for the Bobcats will be All-NESCAC midfielder and senior team captain John Murphy (Yarmouth, Maine), who played PDL ball for the MPS Portland Phoenix over the summer, and sophomore defender Nick Sorice (Pelham, N.Y.), who also competed in the PDL for the Westchester Flames.  Other Bobcats in action over the summer included junior Ethan Kass (New York, N.Y.; Manhattan SC U23), first-year goalkeeper Zach Shabman (Scarsdale, N.Y.; FC Westchester), first-year goalie Sam Polito (Far Hills, N.J.; FC Copa), first-year Noah Riskind (Bethesda, Md.; Bethesda SC) and sophomore transfer student Jonathan Lin (Natick, Mass.; MPS Bulldogs).

Below is a position-by-position look at the 2012 Bobcats:

GOALKEEPERS

The Bobcats will have a lot of talent in goal and a heated battle for the No. 1 jersey.  First-years Joe Maffly-Kipp (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Shabman, Polito and junior Chris Gillespie (Arundel, Maine) will compete to keep net for the Bobcats.

DEFENDERS

Senior Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.), junior Dan Remillard (Hanover, N.H.), sophomore Tyler Schleich (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Sorice are among the returning defenders for Bates, and will be joined by incoming freshmen Riskind and Jack Aherne (Bronxville, N.Y.).

MIDFIELDERS

Last year's leading scorer, Murphy, will return to the Bobcat engine room along with senior Ryan March (Concord, N.H.) and sophomore Aaron Nickelsberg (Concord, Mass.). The unit will be boosted by incoming freshman Luis Pereira (Curitiba, Brazil) and Lin. Kass, Predham and first-year Wes Shrewsbury (Boxford, Mass.) will compete for minutes on the wing for Bates.

FORWARDS

Junior Tyler Grees (Williamstown, Mass.) and senior Ethan Hirshberg (Concord, N.H.) return to lead the Bobcat goal scorers, and will be pushed hard for time by sophomores Nick Ford (Columbus, Ohio) and Lee Sandquist (Doylestown, Pa.).