Despite loss of 16 seniors, Gaels still have solid senior leadership and experienced youth
by Joe DiBlasi
When Mount Saint soccer coach Mike St. Martin walked onto the turf at John Plevyak field in Irvington for the start of fall practice, he saw 60 incoming freshmen vying for a role in the Gaels soccer program.
One of the candidates was St. Martin’s ninth grade son, Brian.
As the coach began to evaluate the newcomers, his thoughts also turned to his oldest son Brett, an All-MIAA A Conference performer for the Gaels last
season, who is now preparing to play at the University of Maryland.
Last season Brett St. Martin and Tyler Collins (Navy) provided offensive punch for the Mount from the back, as the team reached the MIAA A Conference championship game. That senior-laden team also included Ian Reger (Air Force), and Jake Mazzie and Jordan Neihart (both now at UMBC). St. Martin, the dean among A Conference coaches, now in his 22nd year, needs to find a way to replace that fire-power and leadership.
With Brett in his first year of college and Brian in his first year in high school, the veteran coach reflected on the change.
“I miss Brett, but he is doing well at Maryland, and Brian is here, on the field right now,” said Coach St. Martin, who has won three league titles at the Mount. “I’m ready for the new season”.
In all, St. Martin lost 16 seniors to graduation.
Despite that turnover rate, he has lots of enthusiasm about this year’s team.
Senior keeper Ashton Carey returns, along with sophomore Tyquane Stroud, the teams’ leading scorer last year, and junior Dmitri Jordan, who will anchor the back line.
“Ashton was very instrumental in the run that we made last year, so I’m looking for big things from him”, said St. Martin. “Tyquan had a great off-season as Celtic ’03, being named Elite Club National League U15 Player of the Year.”
St. Martin will also count on a few other key returners.
“Senior Casey McCanna, along with juniors Zach Wheland and Alex Crabbs should give us a lot of good minutes,” added St. Martin. “The JV also had a good year, and there are five sophomores on this year’s squad who played at the varsity level last year”.
Ben Pfau and Mike Kramer will assist St. Martin this season.
Pictured above: (from left) Tyquan Stroud, Dmitri Jordan and Ashton Carey will provide senior leadership for the Gaels in 2018.