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Rochester Rhinos Sign Defender Sean Totsch

Former NIU defender Sean Totsch is the first signing of the 2015 season and joins a strong group of players returning from last year.

Sean Totsch during his time with Northern Illinois University.
Sean Totsch during his time with Northern Illinois University.
NIU Today

Sean Totsch was a four-year starter at Northern Illinois University, a D-1 school in the Mid-American Conference. Over his career with the Huskies, Totsch started 47 games and appeared off the bench in an additional 17 in both midfield and defense.

Totsch told the Bent Musket that he was first referred to a tryout event the Rhinos conducted in Buffalo, New York. The Oswego, Illinois, native was one of 46 players at the combine and impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a look at another event on February 20th. Rochester Head Coach Bob Lilley liked what he saw from Totsch over both tryouts and offered a contract shortly after.

Signed my first professional contract today! Looking forward to a great season with Rochester Rhinos

A photo posted by Sean Totsch (@tophcity) on

As a newly signed player coming into training camp, Totsch had a unique perspective because he had a guaranteed place in the squad but was still learning Bob Lilley's system. "We're getting better everyday," Totsch told the Bent Musket on Thursday. "We're picking up on each other's habits with each session and the chemistry between players in starting to form."

Totsch was a calming presence in the back in Sunday's preseason game against the University at Buffalo. He seemed composed on the ball and was able to not only distribute from defense but also showed the capacity to make smart passes that allowed his teammates opportunity to settle the ball or turn into space.

The brand-new Rhino told the Bent Musket about his excitement of working with coach Lilley. "He's definitely a more vocal coach than others I've had in the past," Totsch said when asked about Bob's assertive reputation.

"He's not opposed to stopping the play and making his point known," Totsch continued. "He gives a lot of good feedback, though, and is really clear with his instructions."

Totsch sees himself as battling for a starting spot in central defense with the Rhinos in 2015. He said that he's confident with the level of all the guys in camp and that any of them could make an impact with the team if they are ultimately signed.

Sean Totsch is the fifth defender on the roster for the 2015 season, joining returners Pat McMahon, Babacar Diallo, Onua Obasi, and Tony Walls. The latter two have missed preseason with their playoff Major Arena Soccer League teams.

The Rhinos play their final preseason game on Sunday at 3pm against Cornell University in Rochester.