EUREKA, Ill. – Fresh off the two most successful seasons in a decade of intercollegiate competition, the Eureka College men's soccer team began training for the 2017 season on Monday afternoon. The Red Devils return two of the top scorers in the history of the program, as well as the winningest goalkeeper in 10 years of Eureka men's soccer.
Senior Brady Thomas (Mount Pulaski, Ill./Mount Pulaski H.S.) and junior James Bowen (Homer Glen, Ill./Seneca H.S.) return to give fourth-year head coach Dwain Barker a talented offensive punch at the top of the EC lineup. Bowen ranks second in program history with 25 goals and 58 points, while Thomas ranks third on Eureka's career list with 20 goals and fourth with 47 points.
In goal, junior Daniel Johnson (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) is back after a 2016 campaign in which he logged a 1.76 goals-against average, the lowest in a season by an EC goalkeeper to compile at least 500 minutes in net. Johnson's career goals-against average of 2.45 is the best in program history, and his 14 wins are the most ever by a Eureka goalkeeper.
Senior Michael Hansen (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S.) and junior Brock Musoiu (Carbondale, Ill./Carbondale H.S.) also return after appearing in all 18 contests last fall. In all, nine Red Devils that played in at least 11 matches in 2016 are back on the 2017 roster.
Last season, the Red Devils went 7-9-2 overall to fall one victory shy of the single-season program record for wins set in 2015. Barker is the winningest coach in program history.
The Red Devils will start the campaign on the road in a 3 p.m. kickoff at Faith Baptist Bible in Ankeny, Iowa on Friday, Sept. 8. The home opener is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 13 on the new turf at McKinzie Field against USCAA Robert Morris-Springfield. The match against the Eagles, Eureka's first at home on turf and under the lights in program history, is scheduled for 7 p.m.