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Contact: Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications
Successful 2013 Sets High Expectations for Eastern Florida's 2014 Men's Soccer Season
July 31, 2014 - A quick glance at what the Eastern Florida men's soccer team accomplished in its inaugural season can be mind-boggling.
- A 14-1-3 record
- Conference, region and district titles
- Competing in the NJCAA Men's Division I National Championship Tournament
- All-America selections for three players
- Recognition by their peers for head coach Oliver Twelvetrees and assistant coach Josh Schirmer
All fine and well. But that was 2013. Now 2014 looms and with it sky-high expectations.
That's OK with Twelvetrees.
His response: "We'll be ready."
After all based on having more time to comb soccer's fertile recruiting grounds and to further develop his returning players Twelvetrees believes his 2014 team has the potential to be even better than the 2013 edition.
Conversely based on 2013's successes Twelvetrees knows every time the Titans take the field either on the road or at EFSC's year-old state-of-the-art Melbourne Campus facility they will be wearing huge targets.
One again he relishes the challenge, as do his players.
Eastern Florida opens the season Friday, Aug. 22 playing Northeast Texas at the University of West Florida in Pensacola and follows up with a Saturday, Aug. 23 match with Hinds Community College, also at West Florida.
The play-anyone-anywhere Titans then travel for three more games — on consecutive days in Georgia against Monroe College, Georgia Military and Georgia Perimeter — before playing the first of six home matches on Sept. 12 against Jefferson College of Mississippi. While all games are vital three matches against Florida College System Activities Association foe Broward College will determine if the Titans advance to the postseason.
The matches, Oct. 10 in Pembroke Pines, Oct. 17 in Melbourne and Oct. 24 in Pembroke Pines, close the regular season. Win twice and the Titans are postseason bound.
That is no secret for Twelvetrees and his players but much soccer will be played before the Broward matches. The main focus is on meshing 10 newcomers with 14 returnees and ensuring things are done the right way from the first practice to the final moments on the pitch.
Goalkeeper Jorge Madera returns after posting a 1.07 goals against average in 16 games with a record of 11-1-3. Eastern Florida scored 62 goals last season while allowing 19.
Returning captain and first-team All-American Ivan Magalhaes will anchor Eastern Florida's defense from the center back position with help from returnee and second-team All-American Keenan King and returnee Khori Foster.
Sophomore transfer Kyle Carr of Indialantic is expected to solidify the midfield from the center midfield position while up top returnee and third-team All-American Jordan Muir will be looked to for scoring as will returnee Justin Gavin.
Muir led the Titans with 10 goals and nine assists last season. Returnee Farias Juarez had six goals and Gavin five including the game winner in a 1-0 victory against visiting Louisburg College that sent the Titans to the national tournament.
Gavin also had a team-high 13 assists while King had 12.
Also expected to play vital roles are returnees James Togbah, Romario Grant and hometown newcomers Micah Smoak and Ian Carey from Melbourne High and Merritt Island High respectively.
Smoak and Carey played in the Florida High School Athletic Association boys state tournament at EFSC in February and helped win titles for Melbourne and Merritt Island respectively.
Hopes are they've kept their magic touches.
"Once again we will be superbly conditioned and prepared," Twelvetrees said. "Last year's squad did set the bar very high but isn't that what would be expected? The boys came here to be successful and they were. And now the onus falls on this year's team to at least equal if not exceed what last year's team accomplished."
Eastern Florida had to win three postseason games on the road against Georgia teams to earn the right to host Louisburg.
This season's postseason road — should the Titans embark on that journey — would take Eastern Florida through the Louisburg (North Carolina) region with a national tournament berth at stake.
Twelvetrees will be assisted by Schirmer, who also took on responsibilities as associate head coach for EFSC's successful women's soccer program, and newcomers Danny McBride and Bernie Quintero.
Admission to all EFSC home matches is free. Three EFSC men's home games will be televised live on WEFS-TV and simultaneously webcast on www.njcaatv.com/efsc. The games are noon, Sept. 14 vs. Andrew College, 8 p.m. Oct. 3 vs. Darton State College and 7 p.m. Oct. 17 vs. Broward.