NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Led by 31st-year head coach Tony Martone, the Merrimack men's soccer team officially opened the 2012 campaign with the beginning of preseason camp on Wednesday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field.
The Warriors return a slew of contributors from last year's 9-7-3 squad that finished in fifth place in the Northeast-10 Conference standings. Merrimack will have its work cut out with scheduled bouts against perennial powers Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire, while the regular season kicks off in exactly 15 days when the Warriors host the Merrimack Invitational.
While the program graduated a significant number of players from 2011, there certainly is a strong returning core that will revolve around leading returning scorer Francis Mulkern (Scituate, Mass.) and sophomore Michael Rincon (Medford, Mass.) up front, as the former led the Warriors with nine goals last season. Defensively, co-captains Alejandro Fuchs (Caracas, Venezuela) and Nelson Santos Da Graca (Gothenburg, Sweden) will protect a trio of solid goaltending options for Martone.
The 2012 season begins Thursday, Aug. 30, when the Warriors welcome Post in the first round of the Merrimack Invitational.