Any way you slice it, the Men's Soccer lineup is going to be a lot more crowded this year. Russell Cicerone and Marcus Hanson were the offensive stalwarts last year, and this year Scott Doney joins them. Together, the three tallied 17 goals and 19 assists in ten spring games.
On a team that once again features only three seniors, though, we shouldn't count out Nicolay Netskar, who since joining the Bulls as a sophomore has played in 28 games over two seasons. In theory, the addition of Doney and Steven Stryker's growing body of work might keep the senior, who played his freshman year at D-II Wheeling Jesuit, further down the pecking order, but the offseason departures of Abdulla Al-Kalisy and Sean Young works in the opposite direction.
UB's other forwards
Get to know Marcus Hanson
Already a key part of the UB frontline, Hanson looks in his senior season to make the leap on the scoresheet.
UB's other forwards
Netskar's got just two goals to his name in two years and only eight of his 28 appearances have seen him start for the Bulls, but there's something to be said for senior experience on any team. I was a bit surprised in putting this post together to see how few minutes Nicolay saw last year, because in my memory it felt like more.
Like Russell Cicerone, Netskar's spent this summer in the Professional Development League, a national amateur soccer league that's a little more geared towards college players than, but roughly on par with the NPSL that FC Buffalo competes in. Netskar's been in Seattle playing for the Sounders' U23 farm club, though I can't really figure out from the team's website how much playing time he's gotten.
At any rate, it will be really interesting to see how much playing time Netskar will merit this year with the Bulls. On one hand, in two years he hasn't established himself as much more than a regular sub, but on the other he's an experienced senior attacker on a team that is getting older but is still short on seniors. Netskar as a freshman potted seven goals for Wheeling Jesuit, and I have to think he's been a bit unlucky to find only two in two seasons with Buffalo. I don't expect him to ever play all 90 minutes, but I think it would be mistaken to discount the senior as 'just a sub.' He could come up big for the Bulls sometime this year.