The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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68 ■ THE WOLFPACKER ACC. The Pack made it to the NCAA Tour- nament semifinals in 1990 before losing to UCLA on penalty kicks. The next two years, NCSU was in the quarterfinals. At the same time, Kiefer was a soccer player at Southern Connecticut State and helped the Owls win a pair of Division II national titles. "Coach [George] Tarantini had this place jumping with players right in my backyard from Long Island and New York, and it's a program that I have respected for a really time," Kiefer noted. "There is a lot of work to be done, but there is not an ounce of me that believes we are not going to get this program back to where it needs to be." Kiefer's first order of business was es- tablishing a culture that is built around his upbringing. "I would tell you I grew up with very little, and I made sure every team I coached appreciates what they have and they look out for one another and take care of each other," Kiefer said. "You grow up in a one-bedroom house, the family room looks nice." The coach noted that when he went to a NC State basketball game after being hired in November and saw the crowd show its appreciation for hustling on the court or diving for a loose ball, he knew he would be comfortable in the Wolfpack culture. The goal is to translate that family, blue- collar atmosphere over onto the field. "The game is one ball, 22 players on the field," he said. "It's a lot like life. You got to be good to your teammates and got to know you are not always going to be on the ball." On the field, Kiefer must find a new goalkeeper between sophomore Nick Cournoyer, junior and James Madison transfer Vincent Durand, and promising freshman Leon Krapf from Germany. "It's a great, healthy competition," the coach said. Kiefer likes his pieces on the backline, where senior Caleb Duvernay plus juniors Simon Blotko and Jake Dykes all started last season. In the midfield, senior Julius Duchscherer is back after making second- team All-ACC a year ago and scoring nine goals, best on the team and fourth in the ACC. "Julius is the captain right now," Kiefer said. "Off the field: really, really high stan- dards. I have three kids myself, and if I could produce my kids to be like Julius I am going to be very pleased with my par- enting skills. He's excellent." Kiefer added that junior Tanner Roberts, who scored four goals last year, is leading the group at forward. Overall, the coach not only knows that expectations may be low this year, he em- braces them. "I love the fact that everybody in the league thinks we are the worst team in the league," Kiefer said. "I love having a chip on my shoulder." ■ Three Players To Watch Senior defender Caleb Duvernay He has been a consistent presence on the back- line for the Pack since arriving. He has played in 50 career matches and has tallied a pair of goals with six assists. Senior midfielder Julius Duchscherer Last season, his nine goals were fourth most in the ACC and highest on the Pack. He also had four assists and was named second-team All-ACC. Junior forward Tanner Roberts The two-time ACC Honor Roll member notched four goals as a sophomore, second to Duch - scherer on the squad. He also added a pair of assists. Noting The Pack • In his first recruiting class, George Kiefer welcomed 10 newcomers, which makes up a group that is ranked No. 9 nationally by TopDraw- The highest-rated players in the class were forward Emanuel Perez (ranked No. 33 nationally in the 2017 class), forward David Loera (No. 59) and defender Mac Gourlay (No. 105). The class also included junior college standout Christoph Schneuwly, a defender that helped Ty - ler (Texas) Junior College win the national cham- pionship during an undefeated season in 2016, German goalkeeper import Leon Krapf and James Madison goalie transfer Vincent Durand. • Kiefer's staff at NCSU includes his first hire at South Florida: associate head coach Jeff Negalha. After USF, Negalha spent nine seasons as the top assistant at North Carolina and was named the 2011 National Assistant Coach of the Year. Assistant coach Kyle Nichols played for Kiefer at USF and was his director of soccer operations a year ago after previously working as an assistant at Tyler Junior College. Assistant Samuel Castel- lanos also played and worked for Kiefer at USF, serving as an assistant in 2012-13. Most recently he was a development coach for Orlando City Soccer Club under-16/18 elite. ■ By The Numbers 7 International players represent three different countries on NC State's 2017 roster. Five are from Germany, one hails from Ireland and one is from Switzerland. 8 ACC teams are ranked in the preseason coaches' poll, seven of which are on NC State's schedule this fall. 1-0 Was head coach Georgie Kiefer 's record against NCSU as a coach at South Florida. The Bulls defeated the Pack 2-0 in 2006. Newcomer To Watch Freshman forward Emanuel Perez is a local prod- uct from Garner who played for the Capital Area Railhawks Academy. He is the most highly touted prospect in NC State's well-regarded 2017 recruit- ing class that was ranked No. 9 nationally by Top- That service rated Perez No. 33 in the country, and College Soccer News had him at No. 55. Perez has international experience playing for the U-18 U.S. Men's National Team — he scored a goal in a 1-1 draw with Hungary and played a full 90 minutes in a 2-1 victory over Belarus during the Slovakia Cup in April. Junior forward Tanner Roberts will help lead the attack after netting four goals in 2016. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

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