BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
DRYDEN — The Tompkins Cortland Community College men's soccer team will have a distinct Newark Valley flavor on its roster this season as five former Cardinal standouts have committed to play for the Panthers.
It all started April 13 when twin brothers Dan and Stephen Cowulich signed their NJCAA Letters of Intent, announcing their transfer from Keuka College.
Eight days later, NV senior Riley Malone inked his NLI. On May 12, classmate Nate Sokol became the fourth Cardinal to sign an NLI with TC3. Noah Shiel, also a senior, made it five players from Newark Valley when he committed Wednesday.
Here's what the Panther program will receive from this talented group:
A 2019 NV grad, he departed Newark Valley as a four-year starter and was the team captain his senior season. He was the team MVP and three-time IAC all-star, being voted the IAC South Large School Most Valuable Player by the division coaches in 2018. He was also named the inaugural All-Tioga County Player of the Year in 2018.
A four-time NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete, he played club ball with BC United winning the New York State West Youth Soccer Association Championship three times and advancing to the Eastern Regional Soccer Championship. He saw action in six games at Keuka College.
He likes the "family feel" of TC3 and is looking forward to hooking up with former NV teammates.
"What drew me to TC3 is the family atmosphere that the college has," he said. "When I first arrived the team greeted my brother and I with so much respect.
"It's a great honor to play with my former teammates again. The bond and chemistry we have is unmatched by any team I've been a part of. I look at them like my brothers, because we've been playing together since we were little kids.
"I think it's also great for the community because they can come watch us play. I'm really excited to get back onto the pitch and make more exciting memories with them and the team."
Also a 2019 NV grad, he was a four-year starter at Newark Valley, serving as a team captain as a senior. He is the Cardinals' only four-time IAC South Large School first-team all-star all four seasons, and was named team MVP three times.
In club play with BC United he was a three-time N.Y. West State Cup champion and appeared in the Eastern Regional Soccer Championship twice. A four-time NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete, he was named the goalkeeper on the first All-Tioga County all-star team.
He played in seven games at Keuka College, starting six and recording one shutout with a 2.14 goals against average as the Wolves finished as the North Eastern Athletic Conference runner-up.
The proximity of the campus to home and the coach's reception were key draws.
"What drew me to TC3 was how close it was to home and how open and accepting Coach A (Patrick Arancio) was to my brother and I joining the team this upcoming season.
He's also looking forward to playing with other NV teammates again
"Playing with players from my high school is very exciting! We have been talking a lot about what we expect from the season and are looking forward to playing with each other again as if we were back at Newark Valley."
The first of three NV seniors to sign with the Panthers, Malone was an IAC South Large School first-team pick on defense during the 2019 season and he was also named the team's defensive MVP. Malone was a three-sport athlete for the Cardinals, participating in basketball and baseball as well.
"I chose to attend TC3 in order to get my Associate degree and to test the waters, per se, as to what I would be ultimately interested in in the upcoming future," he said.
"As for playing with my teammates from high school, I couldn’t be any more excited to continue where we left off and see my friends which I have not seen in quite awhile. I hope that our season this year will be another we can look back on and admire for how we played and how we performed."
Sokol is the second Cardinal player to be named All-Tioga County Player of the Year. The IAC South Large School Co-MVP with SVEC's Hunter King, he was the only player in the IAC South to score 20 or more goals last fall. He was also named a division and All-Tioga County second-team all-star his junior season.
Several factors drew Sokol to TC3, including a family tie.
"I chose to play at TC3 for a number of reasons, it’s close to home, the campus and facilities are very nice," he said. "My sister, Briana Sokol, played soccer for two years there so I got to know a lot of the coaches up there. Overall, TC3 made me feel most comfortable making the transition from high school to college, not to mention I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to continue my soccer career at this school.
He's looking forward to reuniting with NV teammates on the college pitch.
"Playing soccer with some of my current and past NV teammates at TC3 is extremely exciting to say the least," he said. "Riley Malone and Noah Shiel are two current seniors who are planning on continuing their careers at TC3 — two lifelong friends I'm very happy to have another two years with.
"The Cowulich twins will also be making an appearance at TC3 next year which I was very excited to hear. Overall, having these NV teammates following me to TC3 will make the transition to a new team much easier and I’m excited to get started with my new team."
Shiel is a two-time IAC South Large School all-star. He was voted a first-team forward in 2019 and second-team midfielder in 2018. He was also named to the All-Tioga County first-team this past fall and was a second-team pick as a junior.
"I chose TC3 because I'll be close to home and play soccer," Shiel said.
He too is looking forward to playing with former and new teammates.
"I think that playing with old teammates is a great opportunity to show our chemistry while developing new teammates in the process," he said.
IN PHOTO 1: Stephen (R) and Dan (10) Cowulich. ... IN PHOTO 2: Riley Malone. ... IN PHOTO 3: Nathan Sokol. ... IN PHOTO 4: Noah Shiel. ... TCSR STOCK PHOTOS.
Print Friendly Version