Noreasters continue tradition of strong goalkeepers in 2015
Good goalkeeping is an integral part to having a successful soccer club and with head coach Tim Oswald’s 2015 Ocean City Nor’easters set to face one of the most competitive PDL schedules in team history, even more pressure will be placed on the net minders to perform
|The Ocean City Nor'easters currently have 4 alumni Goalkeepers since 2012 playing professionally around the world; Tyler Miller (SVN Sweibrucken), John McCarthy (Philadelphia Union), Michael O'Keeffe (Team Wellington) & Keasel Broome (New York Cosmos) (L-R)|
Good goalkeeping is an integral part to having a successful soccer club and with head coach Tim Oswald’s 2015 Ocean City Nor’easters set to face one of the most competitive PDL schedules in team history, even more pressure will be placed on the net minders to perform.
Oswald is confident this year’s class is up to the task.
“We spend a ton of time on each position with recruiting and the goalkeeper role is no exception. We are extremely confident in the kids that we have brought in this summer,” Oswald says. “Each player has had success in their college program and the accolades they have earned clearly shows they are respected by fellow coaches within the conferences they play in. They certainly put up the proper numbers and earned the results they needed to be recognized.”
The group consists of five star keepers making noise in the college ranks. Eric Klenofsky of Monmouth University, Borja Barbero of the University of Delaware, Tim Dobrowolski of Loyola University of Chicago, Andrew Garcia of Saint Francis University and Michael Hartmann of Caldwell University will be entrusted with the tough task shutting down opposing teams this season.
The group features four players who earned all-conference honors in 2014 and several who have set school records at their colleges.
Klenofsky is a familiar name for Nor’easters fans. The 6’6” net minder appeared in three games for Ocean City last season, posting a 2-1-0 record with one shutout and a 0.67 goals-against average.
Klenofsky, a junior at Monmouth, led the NCAA goals-against average last season, allowing a paltry 0.48 goals per game. The goalkeeper had an 11-4-6 record in 2014 including 12 shutouts as the Hawks defeated Fairfield to win the MAAC Championship and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament where they fell to No. 14 Xavier in double-overtime. Klenofsky was a second team All-MAAC Conference selection.
With the beginning of the season just a few short days away, Klenofsky is excited to apply the lessons he learned last season to this year’s Nor’easters campaign.
“I think last year going in I was a bit naive, I knew Ocean City was a very well respected club and I figured it would be a cake walk to a Mid-Atlantic Championship,” Klenofsky says. “Last year I learned how truly competitive this league is and expecting anything but a dog fight in every game would be misguided.”
Barbero, who graduates from Delaware in 2015, was a two year starter for the Blue Hens after transferring from Iona after his sophomore season. Barbero led the Blue Hens to the Colonial Athletic Association Final behind a 1.02 goals-against average and .722 save percentage. He was named a member of both the First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association and the All-Colonial Athletic Association Tournament Team.
In addition to being a talented defensive goalkeeper, Barbero has earned praise from coaches and media for his offensive ability as well. Trained in Spain to be the “11th player on the field,” Barbero has an uncanny ability to start offensive rushes with pinpoint passes after saves.
“In my old club in Spain, Real Valladolid, a goalkeeper is seen as well as an extra player, so to be able to play with my feet was a must in Spain,” Barbero says. “The goalkeeper needs to be used. At Ocean City it can be a great quality to use since there are great offensive players that need to get the ball.”
The impressive class continues with Tim Dobrowolski, the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Goalkeeper of the Year. Dobrowolski posted a 0.78 goals-against average and eight shutouts in his junior season at Loyola University of Chicago.
Dobrowolski was also a Third Team NSCAA/Continental Tire All-West Region selection and named First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference.
Dobrowolski is also confident this group of goaltenders won’t disappoint fans looking for strong play from the position.
“We have a great group of goalkeepers here in Ocean City. We have already started to bond and trainings have been efficient and intense,” Dobrowolski says. “No matter who is in the net expect to see shutouts and strong leadership.”
Andrew Garcia, a native of Sicklerville, New Jersey, set the record for shutouts in a season at Timber Creek Regional High School with 11, before taking his talent to Saint Francis University where he continued to break records.
|Andrew Garcia & Michael Hartmann (L-R)|
Garcia recorded ten shutouts for the Red Flash in 2014, which is a school record. The sophomore was 13-6-1 this past season, with a 0.95 goals-against average in 1,804 minutes.
Garcia was the backbone of a Saint Francis team that claimed their second straight Northeast Conference Championship in 2014.
Eastern College Athletic Conference second team goalkeeper Michael Hartmann rounds out the gifted group. Hartmann helped the 2014 Caldwell University soccer team set the school record for regular season wins with 12, as he paced the team with 128 saves and a .805 save percentage.
With talented goalkeeping options abundant in Ocean City, the 2015 Nor’easters squad should be hard to score on.
Between Klenofsky, Barbero, Dobrowolski, Garcia, and Hartmann the Nor’easters have a logjam of talent at the position creating the problem for Oswald of deciding which talented goalkeeper not to start.
For the Nor’easters and their fans, that’s a pretty good problem to have.
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