MT. VERNON — The Rams soccer team returns several veterans in key positions to this year's squad.
The middle of the field is where most of the experience lays for the Rams and first-year coach Jim Duncan.
“You have to be strong up the middle,” Duncan said. “That's where you have to have your strongest players.”
J.J. Wiegel is a multiple-year starter in goal and returning to the team's lineup as a senior. Central defense sees the return of Joseph McDanel and Nathan Arnold.
“To be able to look at J.J. as my keeper, and then I've got my two veteran centerbacks. I've got Joseph and Nathan. It won't get any better than those guys,” Duncan said.
Adam Donoho and Crayton Turner are expected to see playing time at the right fullback position. Aaron Steele and Josh Russell will see action on the left side. Duncan added the outside defensive positions are critical because of offensive support they give to the Rams.
“They are our wide option,” Duncan said. “They move up the field with the attack. When we cross the half and get into our attacking third, those guys cross with us and they're there for the wide option also to play that 30-yard ball into the penalty box.”
Braydon Riley will anchor the center of midfield and support the forwards. Mac Jones brings back his attacking presence near the opponents goal mouth.
Josh Cortez and Aiden Ezell will share time at the right midfield slot. On the left side will be Dalton McGowen. Duncan added that Donoho could push into the left midfield position. Hunter Schrader along with Stephen Cortez along with Donoho and Ezell could play in a defensive midfield position behind Riley in the center of the field.