The Becker College men's soccer program will kick-off their 2019 season this weekend under first-year head coach Brad Hosey.
"I am very excited and feeling ready," Hosey said about the coming season. "Our guys have been working really hard. I think this preseason has been tough on them, but I think it will make us better come the end of the season. I think we have a really strong team and we should compete in the [New England Collegiate Conference]. I think we have a strong starting eleven, it's just a question of whether our team is deep enough."
Hosey will have several key pieces to build around with this year's team. Junior team captain Colby Koch (Norfolk, Mass. / King Philip Regional) was an NECC All-Conference selection last year, along with sophomore forward Isaiah McCaskill (Springfield, Mass. / Springfield Renaissance). McCaskill's seven goals scored last season as a rookie were the most by a Hawk since 2011, and his four goals against Fisher College were the most in a single game since Becker became an NCAA program. Junior midfielder Leemar Baptista (Brockton, Mass. / Cardinal Spellman), a 2017 NECC All-Conference honoree, projects to be active on both sides of the ball.
Senior team captain Jonathan Gonzalez (Douglas, Mass. / Douglas) will anchor the defense, while senior midfielder Matthew Hillsberg (Burlington, Conn. / Lewis S. Mills), this year's third team captain, will also provide leadership.
"It starts with our captains," Hosey said. "But we have a lot of talented underclassmen, too."
Freshman Derrick Audain (North Brunswick, N.J. / North Brunswick Township) headlines a talented incoming class to the program.
"I think the guy who is the readiest to contribute this year [among newcomers] is Derrick Audain." Hosey said. "He's an attacking player. We're still trying to figure out his role exactly in terms of position. He has the talent to be an all-conference player in this league if he fulfills his potential."
"Derrick is gonna be a key part of the team this year," Hillsberg added.
"From previous seasons, we're definitely starting to accumulate the talent we want here." Gonzalez, a four-year starter said. "The talent to guide us to an NECC championship."
The Hawks open their season on Saturday when they head up the road to Anna Maria College for a 2:00 p.m. game.
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