By Brandon Lee
Assistant Sports Information Director
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon men's soccer team will open its season as the Hawks play host to Warren Wilson on Friday at 4 p.m.
"Since Day 1, preparing for this first game has been the main focus," head coach Matt Williams said. "This is the one that's on our agenda right now. We played them last year so we have a little bit of an idea about what they'll be like and we've tried to use that to our advantage this week as we've prepared for the game."
The Hawks were 5-11-2 last season as an Independent and are entering their first season in the USA South Athletic Conference. Two of last season's wins came against USA South rivals Maryville and LaGrange. Huntingdon plays its first conference game on Sept. 11 at LaGrange.
"In this league, you can't just pick and choose which games you show up for," Williams said. "Every game will be a tough contest and every game is just as important as the last. We've talked about it a good bit and the boys are up for the challenge.
"We are relatively unknown, moving into the USA South, and will hopefully use that to our advantage as much as possible. With eight of the 10 teams making the conference tournament, every point is crucial. We are hoping to surprise a few people and grind out some results."
The Hawks return five starters from last season and welcome 16 newcomers to the team. Among the returning players are Rhett Williams, the Hawks' second-leading scorer last season with seven goals. Sophomore Robbie Farquhar started in all 18 games in 2012, senior Nick Alverson started in 14 games last season and sophomores Jacob Brooks and Brennan Van Meter started in 11 and 10 games respectively.
"This year I feel like we have a wider range where we can get goals from a lot of different places," coach Williams said. "We have Rhett returning and a couple of other forwards that are dangerous. Alverson should be adding a couple for sure. We've got some dangerous wingers that should be putting in some deadly crosses in really dangerous areas and we should have more of an attacking threat.
"There shouldn't be one or two guys taking a majority of the goals this year. It should be more spread out throughout the whole team, which is nice. If one guy is having a slump, we're not relying on him to produce goals. We can get goals from pretty much anywhere."