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Five scorers to watch in 2012

Olakunle Banjo – Towson

The Tigers may been picked to finish last in the Colonia Athletic Association but Olakunle Banjo is one of the bright, young players developing into a star in the conference. Last season after finishing second on the team with four goals and two assists in 12 games while drawing constant defensive attention that helped give his teammates more room to work, Banjo was named an All-CAA selection.

His production as a sophomore was not as good as his freshman season when he scored seven goals and five assists before being selected to the All-Conference second team, but soccer is not a sport where statistics tell the entire story. Banjo is a definite threat to defenses, shown by his five point effort last year against Albany, and that sort of pressure keeps teams on their feet and helps his teammates play with more room to move around with the ball.

Pete Caringi III – UMBC

Playing behind two eventually MLS draft picks made it hard for the son of the coach to really showcase his talent but Pete Caringi III is one of the best forwards in the America East Conference.

Two years ago as a freshman Caringi joined a Retriever attack filled with high-scoring upper classmen but was so good immediately that he played in all 20 games and even started 14. With eventual 2011 third round MLS draft pick Levi Houapeu, and eventual 2012 supplemental draft pick Andrew Bulls taking up most of the defenses’ attention Caringi led all freshman in the conference with six goals and five assists on his way to being a Second-Team All-Conference and All-Rookie team selection on a team that went to the second round of the NCAA tournament from a conference that is regarded as one of the best mid-majors in collegiate soccer.

Last season Caringi started every one of the team’s 18 games and with Houapeu having graduated defenses started to focus on him more than they did as a freshman but he still managed to lead the team with 13 points from four goals and five assists and his presence made opposing coaches worry, so much so that they named him one of the best players in the conference with a spot on the All-America East First Team.

This season, he is the guy with Bulls having graduated. He is the No. 1 focus for every defense he will face but the Calvert Hall alum has shown that he is perfectly capable of breaking through and getting goals.

Stephen Dooley – Loyola

Last season Dooley stepped up into a major offensive role for the Greyhounds. Two years ago as a freshman he played more of a facilitator role and was spectacular with seven assists but last year they needed him to score and he showed he can be successful in that role too, finishing the year with six goals to go with four assists for 16 points on his way to being named a first-team All-MAAC honoree.

Dooley’s 16 points last season was second for his 10-6-2 Greyhounds but he will have to step up even more this season with their top scorer, Geaton Galtabiano, having graduated. The team’s third leading scorer, Vegard Vinje, also graduated, making the need for Dooley to become even more fo a scorer bigger.

David Jackson – Navy

In his junior season David Jackson tripled his number of goals and doubles his points on his way to being an NSCAA Third-Team All-Mid Atlantic Region selection.

It was not too long ago that Navy was a team where just a single win was a huge thing to celebrate but over the past few seasons they have really become a very competitive team in not only the Patriots League but in the region. A lot of that has to do with Jackson, who has become a very reliable and dangerous offensive weapon. Last season Jackson led the Midshipmen with 14 points and six goals to go along with two assists. His points ranked fifth in points in the Patriots League and his goal total ranked fourth. He was also took the fourth most attempts in the conference.

John Stertzer – Maryland

Four goals and two assists, those were the career totals for John Stertzer as he entered his junior season. For his first two seasons Stertzer was more of a facilitating midfielder off the bench than anything but last year he moved into the starting rotation full time and wowed everybody with 14 goals to wo with four assists, finishing second on the team in points, only behind All-American and eventual fifth overall MLS draft selection Casey Townsend’s 17 goals and 36 points.

With Townsend no longer in College Park it is reasonable to believe that Stertzer will be stepping up into a bigger offensive role where the game plan revolves around him. He showed last year that he was a more than capable scorer, though because of all that success putting the ball in the net he will be drawing the attention that Townsend previously did.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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