The men’s soccer team is geared up to kick off another successful season as they prepare for this weekend’s Flower City Tournament. With some promising new freshmen and a strong lineup of returning starters, they look ahead to another notable season.

The Flower City Tournament, held at Fauver Stadium, starts off the men’s soccer season every year.

“The Flower City Tournament is very important,” senior goalie Paco Corbalan said. “It’s always good to start the season on a good note with a couple wins, and coming out and playing well will put us on the right path for the season.”

However, wins at the tournament are anything but guaranteed. The competition is going to be fierce, as both SUNY Oswego and SUNY Cortland are tough teams to beat.

“We’ll really have to play as a cohesive unit to be successful,” Corbalan said.

The incoming freshman class is expected to be an asset to the team, as well. Three freshmen in particular, midfielders Steve Welles and Jimmy Parinello and defender Misha Carrel-Thomas, will serve as great assets to the team.

“[Steve and Jimmy] bring a lot of energy to the midfield and are always a threat to become dangerous on the attack,” Corbalan said. “Misha is a big, solid defender who gives us some depth in the back.”

After the Flower City Tournament, the team will look forward to repeating their previous fruitful seasons. In the past two, the team was knocked out in the second round of the NCAA tournament, and they hope to improve on this in the coming season.

“We have high hopes for the season,” Corbalan said. “Everyone put in a lot of work this summer, and we’re hoping it will pay off…we’d really like to get into the tournament and make a run deep into it.”

The team also has ambitions of a University Athletic Association Championship this year.

Two of the returning members of the class of 2008 were named to All-Region teams last season. Senior midfielder Patrick Ripp was named Third Team All-Northeast Region, and senior defender Nick Mikolenko was named to First Team All-Northeast Region. Five members of the class of 2008 were named to the All-UAA team last season, as well.

The Flower City Tournament takes place on Friday and Sunday. The first game of the weekend will be between St. John Fisher College and SUNY Oswego at 4 p.m. on Friday, followed by a game between the Yellowjackets and SUNY Cortland at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the day starts off with a game between Cortland and St. John Fisher at noon. The ‘Jackets will face Oswego at 3 p.m.

“These early games are… a good opportunity for us to find a rhythm and iron out any problems we have as a team so that we can be peaking at the right time later in the season,” Corbalan said.

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.

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