New faces, big goals

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After making it to the East Coast Conference semi-finals last season, the Queens College men’s soccer team — armed with 14 new players — has their eyes on the 2012 championship title.

With eight players graduating after the 2011 season, head coach Carl Christian knew he would have to recruit a significant amount of players, but he didn’t expect an almost entire new roster.

“We expected nine or 10 new players,” Christian said. “We didn’t expect 14.”

Standout newcomers like Gianpaolo Lisena, New Hyde Park, N.Y., Glen Reid, Falkirk, U.K., Eric Clermont, London, England and Paul Sandoval, Mineola, N.Y., not only add depth to the squad, but have the skill needed to play competitively in the conference, Christian said.

Midfielder Clermont, 25, has high hopes for his debut Knights season.

“I came to win,” Clermont said.

Returning junior right defender Scott Cain believes that the amount of new players is more positive than negative.

“Although the pace of Division II soccer may be a shock for the new players, depth is important,” Cain said. “Also, it helps that we can have a full scrimmage at practice.”

Christian’s expectations for the upcoming season are to have a winning record and to improve academic performance.

“This year we have a big crew,” Christian said. “It’s going to take time to gel.”

Although that may be true on the field, off the field the team is very close, explained Clermont.

“I know it sounds cliché, but our team is like a big family. Everyone is willing to help and go that extra yard,” Clermont said.

This year, two men’s soccer teams — Roberts Wesleyan College and the University of the District of Columbia — were added to the ECC, creating more competition to the already challenging Knights schedule. Despite being picked to finish sixth in the conference in a poll by ECC head coaches, the team is confident in their ability to win the title.

“We have the talent to cause upsets and win football matches,” said Clermont. “Now, we just have to show it.”

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