By Dylan Kleintop, Student Reporter
A year ago, the men’s soccer team was coming off of its first winning season in school history, and this year they expected nothing less. The Knights had loads of incoming talent as well as skilled veterans. The men put together a successful 6-4-1 season, with wins against Penn State Mont Alto, Patrick Henry and Mid Atlantic. Although there were 15 games scheduled, the Knights managed only to fit in 11, due mainly to weather issues.
“I am really proud of our soccer team. We were short players for the entire season, and yet they managed a winning record against some very difficult competition,” said Coach Doug Fisher.
During the offseason, the Knights recruited some key contributors. Freshman Trevor Holderegger had a phenomenal season, posting one of the highest save percentages for all of USCAA Division 2. Kyle Vargas led the team in assists and goals. Andrew Day was always solid coming off of the bench and posted a few goals and assists.
“Coming to Central Penn and getting the chance to play soccer with this group of guys was phenomenal for me,” stated Day. “Our success was created by the pursuit and commitment that each one of us had made to this team and each other.”
The new players were supported by a strong veteran crew. They helped to hold the team together when times got rough. One of the veterans leading the way was Taylor Martin. At the start of the season, he had scored in five straight games and continued to step up when the team needed him most.
Todd Berry played sweeper, one of the hardest positions on the field, and often shut down some of the opposition's best attackers.
“The team was extremely unified and cohesive,” said Coach Fisher. One of the highlights of the season was the game against Penn State Mont Alto at home. The Knights had to battle back from being down, and ended up winning the game in overtime. That game showed the desire and drive from this team.
“We faced adversity, but worked through it to win. We went into games with the mentality of nothing to lose, everything to gain,” said junior Zach Morrill.
Editor's note: Student reporter and soccer player Dylan Kleintop played an important role in the team's success, but he left himself out of the story, so Central Station asked Coach Fisher about Dylan's contribution.
Kleintop was "the anchor of our soccer team," according to Coach Fisher. "His unique ability to consistently neutralize the best playmaker on the opposing team while distributing quality, opportunistic passes to our offense was invaluable," says Fisher. "He was our most consistent player in 2018."
It is important to note that Coach Fisher has retired from the soccer program after another successful season. He turned this program around, leading the team to back-to-back winning seasons, the first time in school history.
The men’s soccer team has many talented players to build around for next season.
“Central Penn men’s soccer will continue to rise over the next couple of years with the lead of the great minds and hearts of Morrill, Vargas and Holderegger,” said Day.
The men will indoor soccer in the offseason at Yellow Breaches Sports Complex.