By Kyle Beck
The Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish men’s soccer team is coming off a successful 13-7-1 record last season in which they reached the NCCAA national tournament.
“The expectations for the team are very high,” said Athletic Director Boby White. “On paper, this is as good a team as we’ve ever had.”
This year’s team is senior oriented, featuring 11 seniors on the roster. The senior class has won more games than any other class in PBA history, and they hope that kind of experience will help them reach the NCAA South regional tournament for the first time in school history.
There are three new international players on this year’s squad including Gabriel Carneiro from Brazil, Shem Alexander from Trinidad and Tobago and Tumi Magadlela from South Africa. The leaders of this team are senior Cheyne Roberts, one of the best players in school history, and senior goalkeeper Joe Yurchak.
The team has already earned a 4-1 victory over Ouachita Baptist University, and a 5-0 win against Johnson and Wales. Both the men’s and women’s teams recently went to a tournament in Arkansas and both came away victorious in the two games they played.
This year’s team is poised and ready to make a deep run in the post-season due to outstanding leadership and talent.
“The goal is to win the national championship, and they’re definitely in a position to do that,” White said.
The Sailfish women’s team is a different story than the men’s.
“We’re continuing to rebuild,” said White. “They are a very young team, but this year will certainly be a step forward.”
They are coming off a difficult 5-14-2 record but have something to build on from last season as they won four of their last five games. Second season Head Coach James Kryger is building the team that he wants and believes can be a winner.
“We don’t have many returning players,” said sophomore midfielder Jenny Hendriksen. “But I think a young team gives us a lot of energy. Everyone has been willing to work hard so I think we will do very well.”
There are 20 new players on the women’s team and most are freshmen. Although young, they are talented. Keep your eye on freshman Juliet Waller and juniors Alex Regin and Angie Kuhn.