Veteran team, brand new field for Colby men's soccer team

WATERVILLE, Maine -- With 12 experienced juniors on the roster, head coach Ewan Seabrook and the Colby College men's soccer team will field a veteran team for the 2017 season.

Colby's home opener Tuesday against Maine Maritime Academy was called off due to lightning. The Mules will now have their home opener on the new Colby Soccer Field against local rival Thomas College on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 4 p.m. Colby will play at Tufts University on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. 
 
"I am excited to see what this group of young men can achieve over the course of the season. The returning upperclassmen have worked tremendously hard in the off-season and throughout the summer to take this program to the next level. " Seabrook said. "We return an experienced group of juniors who will complement the senior class leadership, and our first-years and sophomores have shown throughout preseason that they can play at this level. "
 
The captains
 
Colby's defense allowed one goal or fewer in nine games last year to help the Mules finish 5-8-2 overall. Part of the success was due to tri-captains Avery Heilbron (Vancouver, B.C.), Chandler Smith (Yarmouth, Maine), and junior Grady Jendzejec (Chappaqua, N.Y.). Heilbron is a midfielder, while Smith and Jendzejec will play in back. 
 
Heilbron was a transfer last year from University of New Hampshire, while fellow senior Smith has started 42 of the 43 games he has played at Colby. Jendzejec has started every game in his first two seasons.
 
Experience on defense
 
The captains have other veteran players around them. Senior Evan Dwyer (West Chester, Pa.) and junior Cam Clouse (Holliston, Mass.) also had starts on defense and will help form a stingy backline. Clouse led the team in assists last year and is solid in the air at 6-foot-3.
 
Senior Andrew D'Anieri (Wellesley, Mass.), junior Garrett Dickey (Centennial, Colo.), and sophomore Ryan Lauderback (Barrington, Ill.) all saw some starts and quality minutes on defense a year ago.
 
Colby's defense kept the team in games last year and had some terrific showings. The Mules battled to a 1-1 overtime tie against Tufts University, which went on to win the national title. Colby also had a 0-0 home game tie against Middlebury College and road wins against Trinity College (2-1) and Bates College (1-0).
 
Sophomore goalkeeper Avery Gibson (Natick, Mass.) started 11 games last year and made 66 saves. Sophomore goalkeeper Stanley Clarke (Bangor, Maine) played 320 minutes, allowing just one goal and posting a 3-0 record. Junior Dan Carlson (Littleton, Mass.) also returns in goal.
 
Forwards, midfielders look to strike
 
Colby has its top nine scorers returning and a balanced attack will be important.
 
Junior Kyle Douglas (Windsor, Conn.) led the Mules in scoring with three goals and one assist. Junior center midfielder Jansen Aoyama (Narbeth, Pa.) added two goals and one assist, while 6-foot-6 forward Jacob Tower (Bellevue, Wash.) also had two goals.
 
Senior forward Aidan Black (Cumberland Center, Maine), junior forward Jeff Rosenberg (Bethesda, Md.), junior midfielder David Howarth (Cinnaminson, N.J.), and junior midfielder Jefferey Lin (Natick, Mass.) also had goals last year.
 
Sophomores Tom Shea (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Asa Berolzheimer (Hanover, N.H.) return in the midfield. Lucas Pereira (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.), Wyett MacDonald (Planfield, N.H.) and Cole Turissini (Winchester, Mass.) are forwards.
 
Newcomers
 
Sophomore defender Conor Larkin (Newton, Mass.) is a transfer from Villanova University and will look for minutes in back with first-year Alberto Butts-Lee (Jamaica Plain, Mass.).
 
Walter Thilly (Winchester, Mass.) will get a chance to score on the forward line, while Paul Hawkins (Wellesley, Mass.) and Jack Fletcher (Weston, Mass.) bring depth to the midfield.