WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Beginning his 19th season as head coach, Jay Vidovich led the Wake Forest men’s soccer team in its first practice of the 2012 season on Thursday morning on the practice fields at Spry Stadium.
“To get back on the field again after a long hiatus from soccer is always tremendous,” said Vidovich. “There’s the excitement of the players coming in to see where they’re going to fit, and I know our returning vets are excited about the season.”
The Demon Deacons return 18 players who saw action in at least one game last year when the team posted an 8-8-5 overall record and a 4-3-1 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Four players who tallied at least 10 points last year will all be back on the field this season, including Andy Lubahn (four goals, six assists), Luca Gimenez (six goals, one assist), Sean Okoli (four goals, three assists) and Ben Newnam (three goals, four assists).
Michael Lisch will also be back in goal after posting five shutouts and recording a 1.34 goals against average in 2011.
In addition to the wealth of experience, the Deacs also will have plenty of talented newcomers thanks to a highly touted freshman class.
“We’re excited because this is the first time in two years where we’ve had an upper class with juniors and seniors. They’ve played in some big games and have come a long way in terms of playing our brand of soccer,” said Vidovich. “We’ve also already had some young guys hold their own and prove that they are going to compete for playing time.”
Wake Forest will have a pair of scrimmages before beginning the regular season on Saturday, August 25, at home against Wofford at 7 p.m. The first scrimmage will be at Spry Stadium on August 14 at 7 p.m. against Radford, while the second scrimmage will be at Furman on August 18 at 4 p.m.