LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- A new coach mixed with 10 returning starters has the Covenant men's soccer team feeling optimistic heading into the 2017 season. First-year head coach Scott Bosgraf takes the reins of the program and has a wealth of talent and experience for his first team. In all, 10 starters and 21 letterwinners return for the Scots this season.
Covenant opens the year on Sept. 1 against Wilmington at Maryville, Tenn. The home opener at Scotland Yard is set for Sept. 6 against Sewanee at 7:30 p.m.
With 10 starters back and seven seniors, experience will be all over the field for the Scots. Junior Carl Simakoff is coming off a breakout year in which he led the team with eight goals, while sophomore Jesse Riggs was second on the team with seven scores. Sophomore Josh Brower tallied four goals in his freshman year and is poised to add to that total this season. At the net, senior Jonathan Crossman made 11 starts a year ago and returns to anchor the keeper position.
Seniors John O'Carroll and Nate Mackey look to man the back line and the midfield, respectively. Fellow seniors Henry Paris, Caleb Allen, Joseph Franks and Isaac Johnson also return and each played significant roles on the team a year ago.
After an opening weekend invitational at Maryville, the Scots open the home portion of the schedule against Sewanee on Sept. 6. The Scots will also host Pensacola Christian (Oct. 7) in a true, non-conference matchup at home.
Covenant will play host to both of the preseason division favorites in the USA South. N.C. Wesleyan, the East Division favorite, will come to Scotland Yard on Sept. 15 while Maryville, the West Division preseason favorite, will head up the Mountain on Oct. 13. The Scots will also host Pfeiffer, the 2015 NCAA Division II national champions, on Sept. 30. Pfeiffer is in its first year of reclassifying to Division III and a member of the USA South, but the contest will not count towards league standings.
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