Titans Men’s Soccer Greets Season With Many New Faces

By  //  August 17, 2015

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Much like he did when he took the reins of Eastern Florida’s inaugural men’s soccer team two seasons ago head coach Oliver Twelvetrees is starting anew. With only a handful of returnees from last season’s team that finished one game short of a second consecutive national tournament berth, Twelvetrees knew he needed to retool and he believes he did. (Eastern Florida image)

Much like he did when he took the reins of Eastern Florida’s inaugural men’s soccer team two seasons ago head coach Oliver Twelvetrees is starting anew. With only a handful of returnees from last season’s team that finished one game short of a second consecutive national tournament berth, Twelvetrees knew he needed to retool and he believes he did. (Eastern Florida image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Much like he did when he took the reins of Eastern Florida’s inaugural men’s soccer team two seasons ago head coach Oliver Twelvetrees is starting anew.

With only a handful of returnees from last season’s team that finished one game short of a second consecutive national tournament berth, Twelvetrees knew he needed to retool and he believes he did.

New faces will populate the backline, most of the midfield and up top. In goal playing time will be shared by All-America Kekuta Jatta, who transferred from the former Georgia Perimeter College, and returnees Nate Himes and Justin Walker.

Jatta allowed 10 goals and made 87 saves in 14 games for Perimeter, which finished 14-0-1. Jatta recorded four shutouts en route to a personal 13-0-1 record.

Himes split time in 2014 with sophomore Jorge Madera, allowing four goals and making 15 saves in five games. Himes had two shutouts en route to a 4-0-1 mark.

Eastern Florida recorded six shutouts in its 13-3-1 season. The Titans scored 70 goals. But, of the scorers only midfielder Micah Smoak (one goal) returns.

While cognizant, Twelvetrees isn’t overly concerned.

Oliver Twelvetrees

Oliver Twelvetrees

“Our pre-season practices and our five scrimmages against four-year colleges will allow us to get a real good look at our midfielders and strikers and determine who fits best at the key positions,” said Twelvetrees who is 27-4-4 at Eastern Florida.

“I’m confident we’ll put the ball in the net.

“Defensively the practices and the scrimmages will provide the same measuring sticks.”

The pre-season also will give Twelvetrees and his staff the time to stress the all-important intangibles of cohesiveness and chemistry.

“We’ve got a lot of players who need to get to know us and each other,” Twelvetrees said.

“That takes time but once everyone embraces the principles and our style of play we’ll be OK.

“I know we recruited well.”

Expected to contribute on offense are freshman forward Luke Ferreira of Deerfield Beach, Florida; freshman Yaya Cisse of Colorado Springs, Colorado; freshman Joshua “JJ” Donnelly of London, England; and sophomore transfer Yannick Koffi of Dallas, Texas.

Twelvetrees has high hopes for sophomore transfer Wilfred Williams of Johnson City, Tennessee and freshman Rushane McClymont of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica to anchor the backline that produced 2014 All-Americans in Kyle Carr, who moved on to NCAA Division I Liberty University, and Ivan Magalhaes, who moved on to Division I University of Maryland.

Also, this season’s schedule should prepare his team for another deep run in the postseason.

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It includes scrimmages against two NCAA Division I teams, defending Atlantic Sun champion Florida Gulf Coast University and Stetson University, and a scrimmage with defending NCAA Division II national champion Lynn University. The Titans also will scrimmage Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Once the games begin, Eastern Florida will face five nationally ranked NJCAA teams. Also, five of the Titans home games at the Titan Soccer Complex are scheduled to be televised live on WEFS-TV and streamed live at www.efsctitans.com

New to the schedule is NJCAA Region 8 newcomer ASA College Miami which will compete with the Titans and Broward College for the one postseason berth. The teams will play each other three times each.

“We have an extremely young and talented team which will grow from the experience of this demanding soccer schedule,” Twelvetrees said.

The Titans travel outside Florida twice. They open the season with two games at Essex County College in Maryland on Aug. 29 and 30, playing Essex County College and 2014 NJCAA runner-up Monroe College of New York respectively and then bus to Mississippi for games on Oct. 2 and 3 against Pearl River Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College respectively.

Home field opponents at the Titan Soccer Complex are: Webber International University, 7 p.m. today (Aug. 13), scrimmage; Lewis & Clark College, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6; Jefferson College, 6 p.m. Sept. 11; Florida National University, 7 p.m. Sept. 18; Broward, 7 p.m. Sept. 25; ASA, 6 p.m. Sept. 27; Florida Memorial University, 7 p.m. Oct. 6; Keiser University, 8 p.m. Oct. 13; Broward, 6 p.m. Oct. 30.

The district semifinals and final are Nov. 6-7 at a site to be determined. The NJCAA Men’s Division I National Championship tournament is Nov. 16-21 at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

Former Florida Tech player Joe Barber joins Twelvetrees’ staff as first assistant coach.


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