Four years ago the Medaille men’s soccer team was not only welcoming in the class of 2009, but also coming off of an impressive 2005 campaign that saw them set the school records for wins, AMCC champions, and a bid to the NCAA national tournament. With the 2005 team finishing with a mark of 18-2-2 the incoming freshman knew that they were going to have to step up their game, and that they did.
In the fall of 2006 Gary Boughton, Kendell McFayden, Josh Meier, Mike Antkowiak, Scott Gentner, and John Siefert started their collegiate careers that would see some highs and some lows. The 2006 season was one for these six young men to remember as they would not only match the mark set by the 2005 squad but raise the bar for years to come. These six players helped the Mavericks post an amazing 20-1-1 record en-root to becoming the 16th nationally ranked team in D-III soccer. That men’s squad also dominated AMCC play as they would post an undefeated mark of 9-0-0.
During that 2006 campaign Gary Boughton, out of Lancaster, N.Y. stormed onto the scene and not only caught the attention of coaches in the AMCC but coaches all across the D-III level. Boughton finished off his freshman campaign with 21 assists, which was 2nd best for D-III players. Boughton also added 8 goals to the 21 assists to give him 37 points and earn him the AMCC Newcomer of the Year award. Over his first three seasons as part of the Mavericks soccer team, Boughton has earned AMCC 1st Team All-Conference honors three times, the D3Kicks 1st Team All-Region honor twice, and has also been a NSCAA Regional All-American three times. In 2008, Boughton earned his first NSCAA Scholar All-American award. Over his career at Medaille, Boughton has totaled 32 goals, 78 assists (which is the All-Time D-III mark), and 142 points.
That year the Mavericks also welcomed Williamsville, N.Y native Kendell McFayden, on board for the 2006 campaign. In his first season the forward would add 14 goals and 11 assists for a total of 39 points to the already high powered offense of Medaille. In that same season McFayden earned All-Tournament Team honors at the Westminster College Tournament, while also being an Honorable mention on the All-Conference team. McFayden would play the next season at forward scoring a team leading 16 goals before switching to defense for the Mavericks in 2008. To this point in his senior year at Medaille, McFayden has 41 goals, 24 assists, and 106 career points to go along with two AMCC 1st Team All-Conference selections and one NSCAA Regional All-American selection.
Josh Meier, South Wales, N.Y. made his way onto the scene as a starting midfielder his freshman campaign with the Mavericks. After the 2006 season Meier, just like McFayden moved to defense and would not disappoint. Meier finished 2nd on the team in goals in his sophomore and junior seasons, bringing along two AMCC 1st Team All-Conference honors and one NSCAA Regional All-American award into his senior year at Medaille. On this year’s 2009 squad Meier currently ranks fifth among his teammates in points with 14. In 80 career games for the Mavericks Meier has totaled 28 goals, and 13 assists for 69 points in his collegiate career.
Mike Antkowiak, Clarence, N.Y. has played defense for the Mavericks over his four years at Medaille, with himself being named as one of the Mavericks starting defensemen the past two seasons. In his four years at Medaille, Antkowiak has been a key part to the continued success of the stingy Mavericks defensive core. Antkowiak’s play over his four years has also earned him two Player of the Week awards at Medaille while totaling 1 goal and 8 assists for 10 points in 66 career games as a Maverick. Over the past four years Antkowiak has shown great effort numerous times while playing for Medaille against some of the best teams in the D-III men’s soccer rankings, helping to maintain the stability of the Mavericks defense.
Scott Gentner, Buffalo, N.Y. was on the 2005 squad that set numerous accolades for the Blue Devils soccer team that saw them reach the playoffs. After the 2005 season ended, Gentner would play his second season at SUNY Fredonia to continue play for the Blue Devils. Gentner would be out of soccer for the 2007 season and returned to play for the Mavericks once again in the 2008 season as a starting midfielder. In 2008 Gentner would help the Mavericks place in the top 30 national rankings and make another trip to the NCAA national tournament. In his 3 seasons as a Maverick Gentner has played in 33 games scoring 4 goals while adding 5 assists for a total of 13 points.
John Siefert, East Amherst, N.Y. was the sixth freshman that donned a Maverick jersey to start the 2006 season. Siefert started on the Mavericks defense as a freshman gaining lots of valuable experience as he helped in the Mavericks amazing run to the NCAA national tournament. Six games into the 2008 season Siefert Suffered a foot injury that would cut his junior season sort and end it with Siefert tallying 1 assist. This season Siefert has suited up for 12 games and has a decision to make at the end of the season as even though he is a senior the NCAA has granted him one more year of eligibility to play soccer if he chooses so. So far in his career Siefert has netted 4 goals and 3 assists for 11 points in 53 games as a Maverick.
With four games left in the 2009 regular season, these six seniors have helped the Mavericks accumulate a 63-12-6 record since the beginning of the 2006 season. They have experienced many highs and also some lows throughout their 4 years at Medaille. In the Mavericks 2008 NCAA run they would fall short in a hard fought game by the final score of 2-1 in overtime to the eventual champions Messiah College.
Heading into Saturday nights matchup, which is also senior night, the Mavericks (12-2-1) will take on La Roche College (7-5-1) at 8 P.M. These two teams are the last to have an undefeated mark in AMCC play with Medaille at 6-0 and La Roche at 5-0, which means that this game will definitely have major implications on where the Maericks will finish the season in the standings.