Dukes Seeking Return Trip to A-10 Championship Game
Aug. 25, 2003
Fresh off an Atlantic 10 Championship runner-up performance and a school record for wins in a season with 13, Duquesne University sixth year head soccer coach Wade Jean will look to his 11 returning letterman, three redshirt freshmen and 10 newcomers to take the Dukes back to the post-season for a second straight year.
The Red and Blue return seven starters including 2003 pre-season All-Atlantic 10 picks senior co-captain Damien Pottinger and junior Derek Mackenzie. Add to that the addition of a transfer from England, a transfer who was a Third Team Freshman All-American last year and eight talented freshman, and it would be safe to say that coach Jean has reloaded his arsenal with the hopes of capturing Duquesne's first ever Atlantic 10 Championship.
Pottinger returns as Duquesne's record-holder in seven of 10 offensive categories, including single-season goals with 18 last year and career points with 60. He finished the season second in the Atlantic 10 in points with 42 as well as goals and was named to the All-Conference Team, All-Championship Team, NSCAA Mid-Atlantic All-Region First Team and College Soccer News Honorable Mention All-American. Mackenzie has been the team leader in assists each of the past two seasons and is second all-time in helpers with 15. He was third on the team in scoring last year with 17 points and was named to the A-10's All-Championship Team as well.
The other co-captains for this season include seniors Dan Hartung and Jason Kutney. Hartung was fourth on the Dukes in scoring last season with 16 points on four goals and eight assists. His name appears on all five offensive career records lists, including a fourth place showing with 30 career points and the third slot with five game-winning goals. Kutney was one of just three Dukes to start all 21 matches last year and was also named to the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic All-Region Third Team. He managed a goal and three assists for five points from the midfield and helped provide stellar defense as the Dukes allowed just 27 goals last year.
This year's incoming class could rival the class of 2003, which boasted nine players that competed in two Atlantic 10 Championship games and won 40 games in four years. In addition to the two talented sophomore transfers, the class of 2007 is highlighted by a 2002 ODP National Championship participant and five players who won an ODP Regional Championship and five Pennsylvania Championships.
FORWARDS / MIDFIELDERS The Dukes return four of their top six scorers from last season in Pottinger (42 points), Mackenzie (17), Hartung (16) and sophomore Andrew Bell (12). Last year they helped the Red and Blue set team records for goals (54), assists (65), points (173) and shots (382) and with the help of a few newcomers, should challenge those numbers again this season. Bell was third on the team in goals as a freshman last season with five, including one-game winner while fellow sophomore returnee Pat Dillon was fourth on the squad in assists with five. Also returning on offense with Kutney are sophomore Derek Freund and junior Jason Sourbeer who combined for a goal and an assist in 2002.
Of the Dukes 10 newcomers, six are slated as forwards while three play the midfield. New forwards on the roster include sophomore transfers Scott Gibson (Glasgow University - Scotland) and Steve Mellor (Appalachian State) and freshmen Doug Cortina, Garrett Mackenzie, Dan Morton and Sean Park. The new midfielders are Brian Bartek, Jared Helfrich and James Reinecker.
DEFENSEMEN / GOALKEEPERS Defense and goalkeeping has been a team strength for the past four seasons, but with departures in both areas, the starting goalkeeper and defender positions are open for competition. Junior Bret Krotee is the lone returning keeper for the Dukes and will every opportunity to secure the starting job. He has made just one appearance in each of the past two seasons totaling 58 minutes. He has not allowed a goal and tallied two saves in those games while helping post shutouts in both contests. He will be challenged by redshirt freshman and two-time Atlantic 10 Pre-Season All-Rookie Team member Zach Varga as well as true freshman Josh Miller.
On defense, junior Matt Mehler and sophomore Brian Kolena return as the only Dukes with collegiate experience. Mehler has managed 12 career points in two seasons, including seven last year on a goal and five assists. After a redshirt year, Kolena opened his collegiate career last season by playing in 15 matches and earning 11 starts while firing one shot. The only other defenders listed on the roster include redshirt freshmen Dan Gring and Noah Salsi.
The Dukes open the 2003 campaign by hosting the Duquesne Classic with games against Buffalo and Cleveland State. The Red and Blue will also face Dartmouth and Coastal Carolina in the Richmond Invitational as well as other non-conference foes including Ohio State, Bucknell, Robert Morris and Canisius. The conference portion of the schedule sees the Dukes hosting four Atlantic 10 teams and traveling to seven.