The UT men’s soccer team is looking to improve upon an 18-4 2008 season.
This year, UT returns most of its key players from last year’s Sunshine State Conference runner-up team as they enter 2009 ranked third in Division II.
Led by head coach Adrian Bush, the Spartans return nine starters from last year’s squad.
One of them is goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, the 2008 SSC Defensive Player of the Year.
He recorded eight shutouts in his junior season and set a school record with 15 saves in consecutive games last October.
Also returning is leading scorer Pascal Milien, whose 11 goals tied with Lister Warren for the team lead. His 17 assists led UT scorers.
He assisted the lone goal in the team’s 1-0 exhibition victory over the University of Central Florida Aug. 23. The senior from Auburndale was first-team All-SSC and is a two-time member of the conference All-Tournament Team.
Warren, a junior, was Tampa’s third-leading scorer in his first year with the team, finding the net on nearly one-fourth of his shots (11-48). Three of his goals were game winners.
The roster features 11 incoming freshmen. Among them are British recruits Matt Davies and Dominic Goncalves.
Miles Callahan, Portuguese defenseman/midfielder and Norwegian midfielder Kim Bredde, adding further diversity to a team which includes 31 players from 10 different countries.
Joining the Spartans along with them is goalkeeper Diego Pestana of Spring Hill. He will join sophomore Tim Maline as a backup to Thompson.
Pestana earned 14 shutouts during his final two years at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic School. He became a two-time All-Pasco County selection.
Key players not returning to the Spartan squad are Ryan Maxwell, the second-leading scorer in 2008 with 25 points.
Tom Layrisse and Lee Inglis will also not be returning to the Spartan squad. Layriss started 10 games and Ingless was a 12-game starter.