Owens Community College men’s soccer looks to contend for its first-ever conference title after opening the 2009 schedule at the Delta College Invitational in Midland, Mich., Aug. 29-30.
Playing their first seasons of collegiate soccer are midfielder/defender Cody Katschke (Genoa) and forward/midfielder Ricky Dempsey (Clay).
The Express took on Kellogg CC on Saturday (Aug. 29) and Delta College on Sunday (Aug. 30). The Express will open its home season against Lorain County CC on Sept. 2 at 4:30 p.m.
The Owens men’s soccer program is led by Head Coach Art Johnson. Johnson’s assistants are Jeremiah McNutt and Keith Closson.
The 2008 edition of Express men’s soccer completed its 11th season as an Owens athletic program this past year. The Express finished with a 10-8-2 overall record and in third place in the final OCCAC (2-3-1 record) standings.
“I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season,” Johnson said. “We have an extremely talented group of players that are collectively working hard and putting forth the effort to become a championship-caliber team.”
Johnson added, “Our schedule is once again extremely difficult as there are not any easy matches. The success of our team will come down to continuous improvement on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball.”
The Express has five players returning from last year’s team. Among the second-year players on Johnson’s squad is Lorenzo Carrion-Bistolfi (Centro Educacional Conquistadores, Colombia). In 2008, the sophomore was named to the NJCAA Distinguished Academic All-American team and earned OCCAC Academic All-Conference honors. Additionally, he was chosen team Defensive MVP and was an NJCAA All-Region XII Second Team and an OCCAC All-Conference First Team selection. Carrion-Bistolfi totaled one shot as an Express defender.
Also returning to the Express program are Jon Moore (Toledo Christian) and Jahvan Russell of Montego Bay, Jamaica (Cornwall College). Moore, a sophomore defender, recorded four assists and four points on five shots for the Express. In 2008, Russell, a sophomore midfielder, totaled two goals, three assists and seven points on 23 shots. Both Moore and Russell earned OCCAC Academic All-Conference honors.
Other returning players include Lawrence Vincent (Conwell-Egan Catholic, Pa.) and Jay Sesock (Davisburg Holly, Mich.). Vincent is a sophomore midfielder. In 2008, he recorded three assists and three points on seven shots for Owens. A sophomore midfielder, Sesock recorded one goal, one assist and three points on five shots last year.
Other first-year players to the Express men’s soccer program are goalie Pavle Udovicic (Belgrade, Serbia); defender Jerry Doekieh (Bristol Harry S. Truman, Pa.); midfielder Michael Hamouda of Toledo; defender John Caldwell (Holly, Mich.); forward Rodcliff Hall (William Knibb Memorial, Mass.); forward Mikhail Weatherly of Montego Bay, Jamaica (Cornwall College); defender Adam Beat (Norwalk); midfielder/defender Brian Kirton of Bridgetown, Barbados (Queen’s College); midfielder Robert Jablonski (Central Catholic); defender Andrew Whitmore (Start); midfielder/forward Yadi Aliakbar (St. Francis); and goalie Dustin Lamon (Liberty-Benton).