The Moccasin men's soccer kicks off a 16-game regular season schedule this Saturday at home against Shorter University at 7 p.m. The game, which is being played at the Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale, will also be the first for Jason Carlson, who was hired in May as the sixth head coach in the 61-year history of the Florida Southern men's soccer program. Carlson has joined the Moccasins after guiding Upper Iowa to a 39-27-5 record from 2013-16, and the school's first NCAA Tournament berth in 2015.
The Moccasins have 17 players back from last year's roster, though only six were starters or part-time starters and only nine appeared in a game. Among them are twin brothers Carl Spansk and Edward Spansk, a pair of seniors who have played in 39 and 38 games respectively over the last three years and are the only 4-year lettermen on the roster. Carl has started 38 of his as either a defender or midfielder while helping the Mocs to nine shutouts over the last three season, and Edward's seven goals and 18 points are the most among active Moccasins.
Also back for Florida Southern are junior defenders Daniel Moore, Nick Atwood and Pablo Gallo Arias, senior midfielder Dani Morillo, and sophomore forward Jacob Ling-Vannerus. Moore has started 24 of the last 28 games at center back, and Atwood moved into starting lineup outside halfway through the 2016 season to help the Mocs finish with their lowest goals against average in six years. Arias has played in all but two games over the last two seasons, and in his 12 starts has been a part of five shutouts. Morillo joined the team last year as a transfer and contributed two goals and one assist with seven starts and seven appearances as a reserve, and Ling-Vannerus is the Mocs' top returning scorer after totaling four goals and 11 points in his rookie season.
The Moccasins also welcome back redshirt junior Romain Voirin, who missed all of the 2016 season due to injury. Two years ago Voirin started 13 games as one of the Mocs' top midfielders. Carlson has also added three sophomore transfers who saw extensive playing at their previous schools.
The season opener against Shorter will be the first of eight home games for Florida Southern this year, which would be the most for the Moccasins since 2013, and only the second time in the last nine years they've played that many.