Sights sets high

Slippery Rock soccer aims for playoffs a year after missing out on the tournament.

Published by Alex Hanczar, Date: September 1, 2023
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After an off-season that felt like an eternity, The Rock is back searching for success.

In 2022, Slippery Rock Men’s Soccer posted a record of five wins, 10 losses and two draws. In their 17 matches they tallied 20 goals while allowing their opponents to net 32.

Nearly half of the squads’ goals came from the forward Arturo Pla Hernandis. The striker played and started in all 17 matches for the squad. He netted eight goals and recorded an impressive shooting percentage as he placed 23 of 47 shots on target.

The junior was honored as a member of the Second Team All- PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) last season and looks to continue his lethal scoring in 2023.

Hernandis has several notable teammates returning to the roster with him in 2023. Joe Skillicorn also played and started in all 17 matches for the Rock. The midfielder from Liskeard, England posted a goal and two assists in 2022, in just over 1,300 minutes played.

From the defense, Will Harrigan returns for his junior campaign after clocking just over 1,200 minutes in 2022. Harrigan, like Hernandis and Skillicorn, played and started all 17 games for the Rock.

These three are not the only returning players looking to make a large impact this season. Players like goalkeeper Adam Davies, and midfielder Luke Gildea also return as they step into bigger roles this season.

Davies served as the backup goalkeeper in 2022 to senior Hossam Aly, who has since graduated, leaving the position vacant.

Davies quickly earned the job and aims to impress in his first year starting. In his junior year, backing up Aly, he played in four games while starting two. Davies faced five shots on target over the course of the season and saved them all.

Also acquiring a larger role this season is midfielder Luke Gildea. The junior from Plum was named captain of the 2023 squad. He recorded just over 600 minutes for the Rock in his junior campaign.

The Rock has also added a slew of incoming freshman and transfers at eight and six respectively.

The Rock ranks fourth in the PSAC-West preseason coaches’ poll despite the roster turnover. It matches their ranking to end the season last year.

The Rock is searching to execute in PSAC play this season after falling short of the PSAC tournament last year.

The combination of returning talent, players filling large vacancies and all the new faces within the squad has given The Rock an exciting look for their 2023 run.

DISCLAIMER: Arturo Pla Hernandis is on The Rocket staff but had no input on this story

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Alex is a senior majoring in Strategic Communication and Media with a concentration in multimedia journalism. He serves as the assistant sports editor. This is his first semester on The Rocket staff, but he contributed to the sports section in Spring 2023. In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends, watching sports and staying busy.

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