There will be a handful of familiar faces from last year’s team that will suit up for the Otters once again this season. Three players will be returning for their third season with the team, while the other two were members of last year’s squad that set the club record for wins, points, and goals allowed.
First, the Otters will again turn to Torge Wiedenroth in goal this summer. In just six starts last season, Wiedenroth set the Otters records in saves, shutouts, save percentage, and wins and tied teammate Carlos Rubio for the fewest goals allowed in a season. He also broke the single-game record for saves, recording ten against Peachtree City and again against Tormenta. At Reinhardt this past season, Torge posted four shutouts and had a 0.780 save percentage helping lead the Eagles to a conference title and a spot on the AAC First Team.
Alexis Tato Castillo needs little introduction to those in the Tri-Cities. Castillo will return for his third season with the Otters, already holding the Otters all-time record for games and minutes. He also returns after a wildly successful year at Wayland Baptist University in Texas. Castillo was named the Defensive Player of the Year after helping anchor the Pioneers defense and contributing four goals and three assists on the offensive end. After winning the conference, Castillo helped lead the Pioneers to their first ever NAIA National Championship Title, beating Missouri Valley 1-0 in the final. The Otters will hope that Castillo carries the form that made him a Third Team All-American into the team this season.
The Otters defense will add some more experience, as centerback Sam Amure will return for his third season with the Otters. Amure has appeared in 14 games over his previous two years, good for second most in Otters history. Last season he played in eight matches, recording a goal against Peachtree City and an assist on the game-winning goal against Tormenta the following game. Amure played three seasons at Carson-Newman University before graduating last spring.
Local standout Jordan Broadwater will once again represent the Otters this upcoming season. Broadwater joins Alexis Castillo and Sam Amure as the only players to be on the team each year. He has made seven appearances in the blue and green and accumulated three shots over his two previous seasons. Despite not seeing any regular season action during his freshman year at ETSU, Broadwater was able to score the game-winning goal against UNC-Asheville in the preseason.
Finally, Aleksa Mitrovic will roam the midfield for the Otters once again. After making ten appearances, mostly at defensive midfielder, Mitrovic finished with the fifth most minutes in a season by an Otter. In the fall, the Serbian midfielder returned to NW Nazarene University and made ten appearances with nine starts. Mitrovic was also named as an Honorable Mention All-GNAC. This summer, Mitrovic will have the chance to climb up the team records, as he is just 105 minutes from being third all-time, four appearances from second all-time, and just six shots from the top three.
Season and single-game tickets are now on sale on ottersoccer.com or through the HappsNow app! Be sure to check social media throughout the week as the rest of the 2018 roster is revealed! The Otters play their first game of the regular season on May 19th in Statesboro, Georgia against Tormenta FC. The Otters will return home on June 8th for their home opener at Kermit-Tipton Stadium against Mississippi Brilla FC. You can stay up to date on all things Otters by following us on social media! #FearTheFur