2008
Men's soccer hopes to continue growth

Men's soccer hopes to continue growth
August 28, 2008

Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
(630) 829-6143
dbeyer@ben.edu

Entering his second season at the helm of the Benedictine Unversity men’s soccer program, head coach Rob Kettle is eager for the 2008 campaign to begin. Kettle will welcome back 10 returning letterwinners – all sophomores – from his inaugural Eagles’ team in 2007. “I think all of the players want to prove that they are much better than our record indicated,” reflected Kettle. “It’s always a difficult situation when a new coach comes into the picture – especially late in the season – but the players we have back are the ones who made the commitment to their teammates and the program. They battled the circumstances and all earned some valuable match experience that not many freshmen have the chance to do.” With no returning juniors or seniors, Kettle also knows that his young charges will still face an uphill battle. Nowhere will this be more true than versus some very experienced teams in the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC). “No doubt that our youth will mean that there may still be a learning curve necessary,” said Kettle. “We are tossing a group of newcomers with teammates that have only a single season of collegiate experience here at Benedictine. “I think the key will be to see if we have several players step up and assume the team leadership roles that are traditionally occupied by the upperclassmen. We won’t be able to sit back and make the excuse of being young, because we simply have no choice. We need to turn the ‘youth factor’ to our advantage.” Kettle welcomes back one of the team’s top scorers in Giancarlo Chavez (Bellwood, Ill./St. Joseph H.S.). On the defensive end, Michael White (Wauconda, Ill./Wauconda H.S.) started all 15 matches in 2007. The biggest hole for the Eagles will be in the nets, where graduated senior Jason Maestas – now an assistant coach with the Eagles’ team – played virtually every minute in the nets the previous three seasons. Jim Hanley (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield H.S.), who started all 15 matches as a defender last year, is expected to have the inside track as Maestas’ replacement. “We have some very talented newcomers joining our returning letterwinners,” explained Kettle. “As a coaching staff, our goal will be to quickly blend the two and see who we can put on the field for the maximum results. “One thing is certain, we will need every single player to give their optimum effort every time out, be it practice or matches. We don’t have that ‘superstar,” so we will rely on a strong team philosophy.”

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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.