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Men's Soccer

Men's Soccer
Head Coach: Joe Veal (9th year)

Associate Head Coach: Rodger Garner (4th year)

Student Assistant Coach: Sean Downey (1st year)
2013 Record: 15-4-1, WHAC 6-3-1
Schedule & Results | Team Roster | Coach Profiles
Season Review
Team Statistics - 2013
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
Men's Soccer Records

2013 Schedule

Wed., Aug. 28 vs. Spring Arbor Grand Rapids, Mich. W 2-0  
Sat., Aug. 31 vs. Bethel (IN) Grand Rapids, Mich. W 2-1  
Wed., Sept. 4 vs. St. Xavier Grand Rapids, Mich. W 4-0  
Fri., Sept. 6 vs. Cleary Grand Rapids, Mich. W 7-0  
Sat., Sept. 7 vs. Goshen Grand Rapids, Mich. W 2-0  
Sat., Sept. 14 @ St. Francis (IN) Fort Wayne, Ind. W 2-1  
Wed., Sept. 18 @ St. Francis (IL) Joliet, Ill.

W 3-0

Sat., Sept. 21 @ Northwestern Ohio* Lima, Ohio W 3-2  
Wed., Sept. 25 vs. Cornerstone* Grand Rapids, Mich. L 0-2  
Sat., Sept. 28 vs. Lawrence Tech* (Homecoming) Grand Rapids, Mich. W 4-1 Listen on the Radio Michigan Sports Radio App
Tues., Oct. 1 @ Grace Bible Grand Rapids, Mich. W 4-0  
Fri., Oct. 4 @ Madonna Livonia, Mich. L 1-2 (2OT)  
Wed., Oct. 9 @ Davenport* Grand Rapids, Mich. L 0-1 (2OT)

Sat., Oct. 12 vs. UM-Dearborn* Grand Rapids, Mich. W 5-0  
Sat., Oct. 19 @ Indiana Tech* Fort Wayne, Ind. W 4-3  
Wed. Oct. 23 vs. Marygrove* Grand Rapids, Mich. W 4-0  
Sat., Oct. 26 vs. Siena Heights* Grand Rapids, Mich. W 3-1  
Sat., Nov. 2 @ Concordia* Ann Arbor, Mich. T 0-0 (2OT)  
Sat., Nov. 9

WHAC Quarterfinals

vs. Marygrove

Grand Rapids, Mich. W 3-1  
Tues., Nov. 12

WHAC Semifinals

vs. Northwestern Ohio

Lima, Ohio L 1-3  
* denotes WHAC league game


No. Photos Name Yr. Pos Ht. Hometown/High School (College)
2 Peter Brandenburg Peter Brandenburg So. DEF 5-10 Mason, Mich./Mason
3 Chris Grote Chris Grote Fr. DEF 5-9 Carmel, Ind./Indianapolis Chatard
4 Michael Weber Michael Weber So. DEF 6-3 Traverse City, Mich./Saint Francis
5 Charlie Wait Charlie Wait Jr. DEF 6-1 Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center
7 Aldony Mendez Aldony Mendez So. FWD 5-9 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview
8 Mitchal Rosendall Mitchal Rosendall Jr. MID 5-9 Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Eastern/Western Michigan
9 Jon Malecke Jon Malecke Jr. DEF 5-9 South Lyon, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central
13 Matt Jackson Matt Jackson Jr. MID 6-1 Kalamazoo, Mich./Kalamazoo Christian/Grand Rapids CC
14 Cam Vela Cam Vela Fr. MID 5-7 Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern
15 Melecio Terrones Melecio Terrones Fr. MID 5-6 Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming
16 Efrain Cano Jr. Efrain Cano Jr. Fr. MID 5-9 Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming
17 Ryan Wagenmaker Ryan Wagenmaker Jr. MID 6-2 Muskegon, Mich./Reeths Puffer/Muskegon CC
18 Alex Detwiler Alex Detwiler Fr. DEF 5-9 Grosse Points Farms, Mich./Grosse Pointe South
19 Juan Torres Juan Torres So. MID 5-9 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview
20 A.J. Broughton A.J. Broughton Fr. MID 5-5 Spring Lake, Mich./Spring Lake
21 Enrique Padilla Enrique Padilla So. MID 6-0 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview
23 Yianni Demo Yianni Demo Fr. DEF 6-1 Macomb Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley
26 Ty VandePoel Ty VandePoel Fr. DEF 5-8 Holland, Mich./Holland
27 Brandon Montgomery Brandon Montgomery Fr. MID 5-9 Traverse City, Mich./Traverse City West
33 Zachary Boensch Zachary Boensch Fr. GK 6-0 East Tawas,Mich./Tawas


Joe Veal

JOE VEAL Men's Head Coach -- Head Coach Joe Veal begins his ninth year leading the men's soccer program at Aquinas College. In 2011 Veal became the winningest coach in Aquinas history and in 2012 achieved his 100th win as an Aquinas coach and his 200th win as a College coach. Coach Veal now has a 109-44-10 overall record at Aquinas and a 55-19-6 record in conference games at Aquinas. In his eight years at the helm of the program the Saints have won the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) regular season championship 3 times in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and the WHAC tournament three times, in 1996 and 2007, and last season, 2012.


Veal has built the program based on trying to recruit solid student-athletes that possess strong character traits to compliment their outstanding soccer skills. Veal comments, "There are so many aspects to look at in conducting a successful program. We focus on recruiting quality student-athletes that have good skills, ball control and touch. We also look for players that have a strong understanding of game tactics.


He also credits the success of the program to the influence of his Assistant Coaches during those years. “Matt Roberts, Tony Rowe, Levi Swaney, Brian McKeough, and Chad DuRussel are all former players who love the game of soccer and love Aquinas and have worked very hard to maintain a program of excellence.”


After playing high school football, Veal took up the game of soccer. From that point on, he has never looked back and soccer has been a big part of his life. Upon graduation, Veal continued his education and playing career at Bethel College in Mishawaka, IN. He was a four year varsity player on the men's soccer team and was selected as a team captain his junior and senior seasons. He also garnered All-District recognition his junior year. Veal completed his education at Bethel College and graduated with a degree in Biblical Literature and Youth Ministry. He later returned to complete the requirements to be a Health and Physical Education teacher. After graduating from Bethel College, he spent three additional years at Bethel in the capacity of athletic director and teaching and coaching soccer.


After years at Bethel, Veal was ready for a new challenge and he was selected as the first head coach at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis for two seasons. He was named district coach of the year one of those years. Veal then moved to Grand Rapids, MI where for the next seven years he was an Assistant Professor and head soccer coach at WHAC rival Cornerstone University. The Golden Eagles won a conference championship under Veal's leadership in 1993.


In 1996 Veal joined the Aquinas College Saints program in a co-coaching position with coach Pat Hoatlin. The Saints won the WHAC tournament that season. Veal, who is currently a Health Education teacher in the Rockford Public School system, then coached the varsity boy's soccer team at Rockford for nine seasons.


When the men's soccer coaching position became open in 2005, Veal realized he was ready for a new challenge and was optimistic about the Aquinas College program. The rest is history and Veal has continued to produce teams that are disciplined and hard working on the field. He believes in taking talent and adapting the system to get the most out of his players. Veal has a strong conviction regarding developing a servant leader mentality in his players. He explains, “One of the five NAIA Champions of Character traits is servant leadership. Jesus was the ultimate role model of that trait. The original Saints, the disciples, at first sought to be the greatest among each other and Jesus taught them otherwise when He said, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)


Joe Veal is married to Sylvia and they have four children, two sons and two daughters.


Rodger Garner

Rodger Garner - Associate Head Coach

Rodger begins his fourth year as both the men's and women's goalkeeping coach. Added responsibilities this year include being named Associate Head Coach for the men's team. Rodger also currently serves as the varsity assistant head coach at East Kentwood High School for both men and women. The East Kentwood boys’ team has won the Division 1 state championship four times in the last six years. Many of his keepers have earned all-state honors and continued their careers at both the collegiate and professional levels. Rodger played at the University of Dayton before playing professionally for the indoor Dayton Dynamo, and semi pro with several teams. His youth coaching experience includes 2 State Cup championships and several league championships. He has also served as the director of coaching for two youth clubs.


Rodger's son Matt, attended Aquinas and was a standout tennis and soccer player. Rodger says, "Aquinas represents all that is right with higher education. They strive to be the best both academically and athletically. Both soccer programs are run by coaches who care immensely about each player more as a person than as a soccer player."

Sean Downey

Sean Downey - Student Assistant Coach

Sean Downey is a new student assistant coach to the Aquinas family. Sean came to Aquinas in the summer of 2012 when he moved to Grand Rapids after he transferred to Aquinas College from Michigan Tech University in Houghton. Sean is a full-time college student studying Sport Management and will be graduating in the Spring of 2014. Sean is also the current U9 Girls and Head Keeper Coach for LASSO.


Coach Sean is originally from St. Clair, Michigan.  Some of the clubs Sean played on were Nova, Vardar, BASC, and Wolves. Sean was also a four year starter for his varsity high school team at Cardinal Mooney Catholic Preparatory School. Plagued with injuries during his junior and senior year of high school Sean was unable to play in college and went on to pursue a career in coaching. Sean is very excited to do all he can to help the Aquinas staff and squad.




Season Preview

The upcoming soccer season brings a number of challenges for the men’s soccer team. However, the coaching staff is looking forward to the challenge of preparing the team to play in the increasingly competitive Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. “It will be very tough to overcome changes in the team and in the conference.” commented Coach Veal. “But that is one of the reasons why I love to coach. I like the challenge of taking 27 players’ who want to be coached and who want to be at Aquinas and who are dedicated to keeping our program as competitive as ever in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference and helping them grow as soccer players.”


The 2013 Saints will have a very different look than last year’s team that qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. Departed are 17 players from the 2012 roster including nine players who were responsible for 88% of the teams 65 goals. Of the eleven returners, three were starters. “On paper it doesn’t look good, but the team had considerable depth in 2012 and returns several players who had some starting experience or extensive playing time.” observed Coach Veal.


Key returners are senior Captains Michael Gagnon, (midfielder, Spring Lake) who contributed three goals and six assists. Mitch Torres, (midfielder, South Christian), who had a goal and two assists. Jonathan Spencer, (forward, Traverse City West), also scored a goal and dished out a pair of assists, and Tucker Hogarth (midfielder, Elk Rapids). “We really need these four to be team leaders and keep us focused and positive as we learn to play together and incorporate new players at several positions.” explained Coach Veal.


At goalkeeper the Saints return Craig Demshuk, (Jr., Novi), who saw limited action in his first two seasons at Aquinas. Craig took a year off and has returned to challenge for the starting position. Also returning is Trevor Kay, (So., Warren De La Salle).


On defense the team lost all four starting defenders but will look to still be strong with Rico Padilla, (So., Northview) moving from midfield to the defense, Jon Malecke, (Jr., Detroit Catholic Central), Peter Brandenburg, (So., Mason), and Michael Weber, (So., Traverse City St. Francis) all stepping up to fill the vacancies. “I know each of these guys’ worked very hard in the summer to prepare for this season. They all reported in shape and are eager to help the team shut down opponents.” Coach Veal stated.


Besides Gagnon, Torres, and Hogarth, the midfield will feature Juan Torres, (So. Northview) and transfer Matt Jackson, (So., Kalamazoo Christian/Grand Rapids Community College) who will look to strengthen this part of the team. Because of a knee injury in the off-season, a question mark at midfield will be Mitch Rosendall, (Jr., Forest Hills Eastern/Western Michigan). As Mitch continues to recover from his injury, it’s not known when or if he will be able to return to play.


Up top, in addition to Jonathan Spencer, transfer Aldony Mendez, (So., Northview/Grand Rapids Community College) will look to score goals for the Saints. Aldony helped to lead Northview High School to the MHSAA Division II State Championship his senior year with his finishing ability. Also contending at the forward position will be transfer Ryan Wagenmaker, (Jr., Reeths Puffer/Muskegon Community College). As a forward, Wagenmaker helped make MCC one of the higher ranked Junior Colleges in the Midwest.


The team is also experiencing change with Assistant coaches. Coach Veal is looking forward to working with a coach who has helped coach a State Championship High School team while being an assistant at East Kentwood. “I am fortunate to have Rodger Garner as my new Associate Head Coach.” says Coach Veal. “I have known Rog for over 25 years and I have always appreciated his knowledge and insights to the game and in handling players. He will work with the goalkeepers, a position he played at the University of Dayton (OH), but also will help with all other aspects of team play.”


“The challenge is there and the Saints are eager to accept it. “For a few years we have instilled a ‘next man up’ mentality to the team. We are trusting players are able to do so. Since the spring we have said we need to work hard, make no excuses, and work as a team. When everyone does their part, the team can accomplish much.” emphasized Coach Veal.