The Dakota County Technical College men’s soccer team finished with an overall record of 12-10, which head coach Cam Stoltz called “fair.”
“We lost a few games we didn’t think we would,” Stolz said. “We were young and it showed on the field in our play.”
Being young is an understatement as the Blue Knights had only three players with previous collegiate experience.
That youthfulness bodes well for the future of men’s soccer at DCTC but proved to be a struggle at times this year.
“We never started the same lineup twice,” Stolz said. “We were consistently looking for the winning formula.”
Despite the up and down year, Stolz said his team improved as the year went along and played its best soccer at the end of the year.
That improvement culminated with a big upset victory at home over Iowa Western, a team DCTC had never beaten in eight previous meetings dating back to 2004. DCTC also racked up wins over four-year college varsity programs Dana College (Neb.) and Jamestown College (N.D.). Progress was measured in a 4-1 playoff quarterfinal win over Scott Community College, a team that beat DCTC twice in the regular season.
The Blue Knights were lead by freshman Adi Bilani (Minneapolis, Minn.) in scoring this year. Bilani scored 11 goals in only 15 games. Freshman Caleb Addo (Bronx, N.Y.) had nine goals in 15 games for the Knights.
Both Akey Jumale (Soph., Marshall, Minn.) and Soni Phommachanh (Fr., Eagan, Minn.) followed with seven goals apiece.
The Blue Knights are looking forward to a big 2008 season.
“Entering our fifth recruiting year, we are now seeing players consider us, over both in and out of state four-year programs,” Stoltz said. “We have a quality program, but more important we give players a chance to play high level soccer while earning college credit.”
“Next year should be a very good year, with 26 players eligible to return next season,” he said.