DURHAM, N.H. - The 2001 edition of the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team will feature three fifth-year seniors on the roster. Andy Karam (Schenectady, N.Y.), Shaun O'Neil (Wrentham, Mass.) and Tyler Tibbs (Beaverton, Ore.) will all return for their senior seasons of eligibility.

"The return of Andy, Shaun and Tyler makes us significantly stronger in both talent and experience," said seventh-year head coach Rob Thompson. "I'm expecting all three players to not only step up their production this year, but to lead our young squad to success." The 2001 preseason roster features 20 underclassmen.

Karam, a 5-8 forward, led UNH in scoring last season and was named to the America East second team for his efforts. He sat out the 1999 season after suffering a broken leg in a preseason exhibition match. For his career Karam has totaled 7-16-30 and is tied for fourth on the Wildcats' all-time assist list.

O'Neil will serve as a co-captain this season along with junior Doug Lawver. The 6-0 goalkeeper emerged as one of the top keepers in America East last season, posting a 1.41 goals-against average and three shutouts. Only two starting goalkeepers in the league last year allowed fewer goals than O'Neil's 18.

Tibbs, a 6-2 back, has been one of the mainstays in UNH's experienced defense. He is one of the 'Cats most consistent players and recorded his first goal last season. Last season, Tibbs was awarded the Harvey Johnson award as the team's most inspirational player.

The 2001 men's soccer season kicks off on Sept. 2-3 when UNH hosts the 12th annual Nike Fall Soccer Classic at Lewis Field. The 'Cats will take on Oneonta State on the 2nd and Hartwick the 3rd. Both games start at 3 p.m.

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