Aug. 19, 2002
NKU SEEKS OFFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT
Norse to begin 2002 season on Aug. 31
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - During the past three years, Jeff Anderson has quietly established himself as one of the top offensive soccer players to ever perform for Northern Kentucky University.
Anderson, a graduate of LaSalle High School in Cincinnati, has used his speed and ability to make tough shots to score 27 goals in three seasons at NKU. A year ago, he earned first team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors and was later named All-Region after scoring nine goals and adding five assists.
As a result of Andersons clutch play last year, NKU posted a 7-3 record in the GLVC and finished 10-9 overall. The Norse earned the No. 4 seed in the GLVC Tournament, but they suffered a first-round loss to Quincy University at home.
Now a senior, Anderson would like to finish his career by helping NKU capture its first GLVC championship since 1995. To do that, however, NKU head coach John Toebben said Anderson needs help on the offensive end.
Jeff has been a great scorer for us, but he hasnt had enough help, Toebben said. Teams have been able to key on Jeff, but were hoping that will not be the case this season.
Toebben said newcomers Nate McCall and Randy Walters will start up front with Anderson this season. Both players have good quickness and outstanding offensive ability.
Nate McCall might be quicker than Jeff Anderson, and he is a tremendous worker in practice, Toebben said. Nate is going to be a fine player. Randy Walters is also a very good striker, and hes going to help us with our scoring. Those two should take some of the pressure off Jeff Anderson on the offensive end.
Joaquin Palomeque, who scored two goals and had five assists last season, returns to the NKU lineup. Palomeque, who was hampered by injuries last season, will play center midfield this year.
Joaquin has been very good during practice, and we need him healthy this year, Toebben said.
Mike Poole, Jeff Sucher, Kyle Winkler, Kevin Holder, Seth McGoff, Chris Barwell and Ben Otto are also competing for starting positions. Veteran players such as Bobby Pifer and Jeremy Robertson will add depth.
The NKU defense will feature seniors Kevin Morath and Tony Becker, a duo that gives NKU experience and toughness on the field.
Kevin Morath and Tony Becker are solid players, and they do a lot of great things defensively, Toebben said. They have started for three years, and I expect them to have big seasons for us.
Toebben also brought in highly-regarded stopper David Lies, who will start as a freshman. Lies replaces All-GLVC and All-Region stopper Kevin Crone, who started four years for the Norse.
David Lies reminds me a great deal of Kevin Crone, and he is going to be an outstanding player, Toebben said. David is very tough, and he can really jump and get to the ball in a crowd.
Toebben said sophomore Nate Madden and freshman Michael Braun will handle the goalie duties. Madden performed very well last season and had a 2.15 goals against average.
This is the best goalie situation I have had since Ive been at NKU, because Nate and Michael really compliment each other, Toebben said. They will both play, and they are fine goalies.
Toebben said it is hard to make predictions about the season, but he does expect his players to compete with everyone on the schedule.
We have good players, but we also will be playing a lot of first-year guys and that makes it tough to say where we will be in the GLVC, Toebben said. I do think we can play with everyone on our schedule, and if we can get a few breaks, we could surprise people. Weve lost some close games the past couple of seasons, and if we can make key shots, maybe we will win those games this year.