Brevard, N.C. - The Brevard College men’s soccer team saw a season that was highlighted by their first win in South Atlantic Conference play and gained respect on the national level in their game against Winthrop University.
The Tornados improved in Coach Juan Mascaro’s second season at Brevard, as the team caught on fire toward the end of the season, recording three of their five victories in the month of October to give the team a good base to build on in the future.
Brevard dealt with injuries throughout the season as several players missed stretches of games leaving the Tornados shorthanded for much of the 2008 season. In spite of the injuries, the team won five games, improving on last year’s total by one and recorded one tie.
Brevard’s first win of the season came on the road on September 13th as the Tornados topped Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C. by a score of 1-0. It was the second straight season in which the Tornados have defeated the Falcons in men’s soccer action. BC’s first home win of the season came on September 27th when reserve freshman forward Tim Blevins scored in the 87th minute against Toccoa Falls College to give the Tornados a 4-3 victory. Late game heroics continued in the next Tornado win, as freshman Jussi Halonen scored the game-winning goal with seven minutes on the clock against North Georgia to notch a 2-1 Brevard win on October 7th. The last week of October was all Brevard as they recorded their first SAC win on October 24th against Lincoln Memorial. The game began in a torrential downpour which saw players skidding all over the muddy field trying to control the ball, and ended with Halonen putting the ball in the net in the first overtime for the 2-1 win. The final win of the season came at home on Senior Day as the Tornados gave lone senior Kyle Hamilton the perfect gift as they shutout North Greenville, 2-0, on October 28th.
On the season, Brevard ranked eighth in the conference in goals scored, eighth in assists, first in saves, and tied for seventh in shutouts recorded.
Tornados mentioned in the South Atlantic Conference statistical rankings include Halonen who finished in a tie for 10th in assists on the season with four, and he was also tied for fourth in game-winning goals with three. Freshman goalkeeper Jerry Hatsady was first in the conference in saves, fifth in save percentage, and tied for sixth in shutouts recorded for the season while patrolling the pipes for the Tornados.
Leaders for the Tornados on the season on the offensive side include Halonen and fellow freshman Miika Kastarinen, who both recorded five goals on the season. Hamilton finished up his senior campaign with four, while freshman Ville Toivanen and junior Douglas Neill rounded out the group with three goals apiece. Halonen led the passing attack with four assists, with sophomore Henri Erti right behind, recording three of his own.
Hatsady recorded a conference-high 136 saves in his 20 games for the Tornados and ended with a 5-14-1 record on the season.
The Tornados were led by junior defender and captain Ian Townson, who showed his leadership on the field as he took most of the penalty and free kicks, as well as ending many opponents’ advances into the Tornado backline.
The Tornados only lose one senior (Hamilton), but return a talented group of 25 players ready to take the conference by storm as they build on this season’s success.