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2019 Men's Soccer preview

Finishing last fall unbeaten in its last 10 regular-season matches, along with an NCAA Tournament appearance, the Middlebury men’s soccer team looks to ride that wave of positive momentum heading into the 2019 season. The 2018 squad recorded a 10-4-3 overall record that included nine shutouts. This season’s team returns a multitude of experienced players and looks build off the successes of a year ago.

Head Coach Alex Elias

Guided by second-year head coach Alex Elias, the Panthers posted a 7-1-1 road record in 2018 and outscored opponents overall by a 30-10 margin. The program returns eight of the top-10 scorers from that squad.

Leading the group of returners up front will be seniors Ben Potter and Drew Goulart, along with classmates Shams Mohajerani, Kieran Bhave and junior Brandon Reid. A captain this fall and two-year starter, Potter paced the Panthers in goals (6) and was tied for the team lead in points (14) a season ago. His 14 points tied him for seventh among his conference peers, while his three game-winning goals were tied for second. Goulart appeared in every match last fall, leading the Panthers and tying for sixth in the conference with six assists. Mohajerani played in all but one contest last fall with a goal and a pair of helpers, Bhave saw time in six matches, while Reid logged minutes in every match up front for Middlebury.

Ben Potter

In the middle of the pitch, the Panthers turn to senior Henry Wilhelm, along with juniors Raffi Barsamian and Tanner Hellickson and sophomore Brendan Barry. Wilhelm ranked third on the team with 10 points on five goals last season, posting the lone tallies in NESCAC home wins against Amherst and Wesleyan. Barsamian had a goal, the decisive score at Mount St. Mary’s, to go along with two assists last fall. Hellickson will return to action after missing the final half of last season due to injury. Barry appeared in the final 12 matches in 2018, highlighted by a three-point output in the victory at Utica. He also had a goal at Maine-Farmington and assisted on the game-winning score at Trinity.

Henry Wilhelm

Along the backline of the Middlebury formation, senior captain Aidan Robinson and classmate Davis Oudet, as well as junior Jacob LaBranche and sophomore Michael McFarlane look to anchor the defense. Robinson, a Second-Team All-NESCAC selection as a junior, has started each of the last 39 matches spanning three seasons in a Panther uniform. He stepped forward last fall to tally his first three career goals, highlighted by a game-winner at Trinity. Oudet saw action in 13 matches and had the game-winning tally in a NESCAC road win at Hamilton.

Aidan Robinson

LaBranche played in nine contests last fall, recording his first collegiate points with a goal at Utica, while McFarlane started every match in his first year and had an assist in the win at Maine-Farmington.

Matthew Hyer

The Panthers welcome back depth at the goalkeeper position, led by junior Matthew Hyer, who started every match in 2018. He went 10-4-3 with seven shutouts and a 0.58 goals against average to rank third in the NESCAC, while his seven scoreless matches were fourth. Junior Marco Kaper, who saw action in two matches last fall, along with others will challenge for time.

The Panthers’ 2019 slate begins with a September 3 road match at in-state opponent Norwich. The blue and white open NESCAC action on the road on September 7 at Wesleyan. Middlebury commences home contests in Vermont with a September 17 match against Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.).

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