JOHNSTOWN - Graduation has taken a toll on the Fulton-Montgomery men's soccer team, leaving the Raiders with only two starters returning from last year.
That leaves a large freshmen class to pick up the pieces of a team that went 4-12-0 last year and finished sixth in the Mountain Valley Conference.
"We've got some good talent," 12th-year coach Chris Rogers said. "But we are young with only three sophomores."
The Raiders lost their top talent on both sides of the field with the departure of forward Michael Raftu and goal keeper Sam Mignon. Raftu scored 15 goals for the Raiders and assisted on eight others and Mignon was a co-captain and made 103 saves for FMCC last season.
However, even with most of their team gone from last year, the Raiders won't be completely devoid of experience. One of the two returning starters from last year is a local athlete, Mayfield's Ben Morey, who started all 16 games for FMCC. Also returning is Hayato Tao of Japan who started 15 games playing center midfield. He also served as the team's backup goalkeeper.
The rest of the team is made up of newcomers, seven of which are from the area: Mayfield's Joshua Boynton, Wells' James Dejong, Gloversville's Daniel Kwak and Austine Lee, Canajoharie's Dominic Mazzarella, Wells' Shane Raymond and Fort Plain's Lionel Weller.
FMCC Men's Soccer Schedule
Sept. 5at Herkimer4 p.m.
Sept. 8at Erie1 p.m.
Sept. 9At Niagaranoon
Sept. 11WORD OF LIFE5 p.m.
Sept. 15at Finger Lakes3 p.m.
Sept. 16NORTH COUNTRY3 p.m.
Sept. 18BROOME4 p.m.
Sept. 20at Tompkins-Cortland4 p.m.
Sept. 22CAYUGA3 p.m.
Sept. 25at Adirondack4 p.m.
Sept. 27at Hudson Valley4 p.m.
Oct. 2DELHI4 p.m.
Oct. 4ONONDAGA4 p.m.
Oct. 8at Clinton6:30 p.m.
Oct. 11at Williams JV4 p.m.
Oct. 14CORNING3 p.m.
Oct. 17at Mohawk Valley4 p.m.
The Raiders got their first taste of Region III when they played a non-league game against Jefferson County Community College of the Mid-State Conference. FMCC could not get any offense going in a 2-0 loss.
Lee, who is listed as both a forward and a goalkeeper, made six saves.
The Raiders will open their conference season today when they travel to Herkimer County Community College to face the Generals, who are the top-ranked NJCAA men's soccer team in the nation. They will play their home opener Sept. 11, a non-conference game against the Word of Life Institute.
The Raiders' schedule will stretch toward the end of October and Rogers' team will need to come together as quickly as possible in order to reach regional play in early November.
"If we gel together quickly, we could be dangerous," Rogers said.