Men’s Soccer Kicks off New Season

Release Date:
September 1, 2003
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

Former Cortland State standout Kevin Mahoney takes over the men’s soccer program this season and looks to improve on last year’s 3-11 record. The schedule is challenging early as the Hawks prepare for the bulk of the North Eastern Athletic Conference play come early October.

Coach Mahoney inherits a talented mix of seasoned veterans, transfer students, and incoming freshmen, led by 2002 All-NEAC selections Jacob Opala (W. Seneca West/West Seneca, NY) and Chris Fassl (Kenmore West/Kenmore, NY). Opala, a junior forward, scored 9 goals and added 5 assists last season, to finish third in total points in the conference, and is a former NEAC Player of the Week. Fassl, a junior midfielder finished last season third in the conference in assists, with eight in 15 games. “We have some formidable threats up top along with the tools and ability to create a great deal of scoring opportunities this season,” commented Coach Mahoney.

Senior Brian Dohl (Falconer Central/Falconer, NY) will be counted on to provide leadership in the midfield. Freshmen midfielders Tim Jordan (Frontier/Jacksonville, SC) and Dan Russell (Iroquois/Marilla, NY) will compete for playing time early. Coach Mahoney will also depend on freshmen forwards Kevin Nasca (Kenmore West/Kenmore, NY) and Joel Miles (Silver Creek/Silver Creek, NY) to provide an offensive spark.

The Hawks should have a balance of youth and experience on defense. Juniors Mark Grabowski (Hinsdale/Hinsdale, NY), Kurtis Clark (Cuba-Rushford Central/Rushford, NY), and Thomas Cone (Lincoln/Rapid City, SD) return to provide experience and leadership. They will be joined by junior transfer Jim Fitzsimmons (Wilson/Wilson, NY) and freshmen George Castle (Lakeshore/Angola, NY) and Josh Krupski (Iroquois/Elma, NY). Goalkeeper Marc Gaylor (Hinsdale Central/Hinsdale, NY) returns for his senior season and can be spelled by Cone when needed.

The coaching staff feels that the newcomers will blend with the veteran players to make the Hawks very competitive this season. Mahoney added, “When we play to our strengths, we feel we can play with anyone in our conference and be successful.”

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.