BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University men's soccer team has undergone some changes this spring as John Miglarese was named head coach in January. Miglarese has been hard at work during the spring practices and fall camp to change the culture of the men's soccer program.
Miglarese is striving to bring back some stability to a once nationally prominent King men's soccer program. Over the past four years, the Tornado have had three different coaches, and haven't found the success on the pitch, ending last season with a 3-14 overall record and 2-8 mark in Conference Carolinas play.
However, the Tornado won their final two games of the 2012 campaign, giving the Tornado a little momentum going into Miglarese's first year at the helm. The program isn't far removed from their last conference title and NAIA National Tournament appearance of 2008.
The challenges are different this time around, though, as the Tornado are in their fourth year of NCAA Division II membership, and third year as Conference Carolinas members.
King returns two of their top-three scorers from a season ago, senior Peter Griffith and junior Luis Alonso. Alonso led the Tornado with five goals to go along with one assist for a total of 11 points while Griffith netted four goals from his defender position to rank second on the team. King will also rely on junior midfielder Thomas Dube, who made 16 appearances, 12 starts a season ago, accounting for one goal and one assist.
The defensive end is the most experience side of the field for the Tornado, and should be led by senior Joshua Feener and junior Zachary Clark. Feener started all 17 games for the Tornado a season ago while scoring one goal and dishing out one assist. Feener also made nine starts and 10 appearances in goal for the Tornado while Clark started all 12 games in which he appeared.
"We've got Feener, who's a senior, David Eagan, who's a senior, and Zachary Clark, who's technically a senior, but he's got another year of eligibility, and then at times you'll see Peter [Griffith] in there, so at times you may see four seniors in the back line in some games, and that's going to be really important." Miglarese said.
At goalkeeper, Cameron Sauro returns after starting seven games as a freshman. Sauro will be pushed, however, as freshman Kari Sveinsson comes to King with considerable international experience from Iceland.
The roster will be rounded out with nine newcomers for the 2013 season, including two junior college transfers.
King was selected to finish eighth in the Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll. Limestone College was selected to repeat as conference champions and Erskine College was picked to finish second.
The Tornado open the campaign on September 6 and 7 at the Lee University Tournament in Cleveland, Tenn. King will face host Lee on Friday night before taking on Shorter University on Saturday afternoon. The home opener is slated for Wednesday, September 11 against Tusculum College at 4:00 p.m., and the Tornado open Conference Carolinas play on Saturday, September 21 against Pfeiffer University at 4:00 p.m.