The Westminster College men’s soccer team begins the 2012 season with two games at Dumke Field this weekend. Westminster will first play against Avila (Mo.) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and then against College of Idaho on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

The Griffins look to improve on the 9-8-1 season they had in 2011. The team returns 16 players from that squad, including both starting goalkeepers in Nathan Young and Damir Sabanovic. Other key returners include starters Jace Maxfield, Wilson Larson, Bryan Rucklos, Ryan Smith and Adam Bullough. Maxfield and Larson started all 18 games last year, while Smith and Bullough made 17 starts apiece.

With those 16 players returning, the Griffins bring back just 29 percent of the totals goals they had in 2011. However, if you remove the 12 goals scored by graduated senior Dennis Sellis, Westminster then returns 53 percent of the goals scored by everyone else. Both Maxfield and Gonzalez scored two goals last year and were the only two players on the team to score multiple goals besides Sellis.

The team also welcomes back 57 percent of the total assists from last year. Manuel Duenas is back after recording a team-best five helpers a year ago. Larson posted three assists and is the other returnee who had multiple assists in 2011.

In goal, Young and Sabanovic combined to make 66 saves with a 72.5 save percentage. They had a 9-8 record between the two of them with two shutouts.