Indiana 2014 Team and Recruiting Class Review

Team - Indiana 
Conference - Big Ten 
Coach - Todd Yeagley (5th Season)
Background - Indiana is among the most storied and successful programs in college soccer. The Hoosiers have won the Big Ten Tournament 12 times, they have earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament 32 times including the past 27 consecutive seasons, they have advanced to the College Cup 18 times, and have won 8 national championships. Expectations are always high at Indiana. Although there were a few bright spots the Hoosiers did not have the type of season in 2013 that many thought they would have.  After winning the national championship in 2012, Indiana completed the 2013 season with a 8-12-2 overall record and a 2-4-0 mark in conference play. Based on their record, it looked like the Hoosiers streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances was going to come to a halt at 26 when they entered the Big Ten Tourney, which they had not won since the 2006 season, as the number five seed. However Indiana showed a ton of grit and one of the bright spots of the season occurred when they topped number four seed Michigan, number one seed Penn State, and number three seed Michigan State to win the Big Ten Tourney to claim the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tourney. Indiana's season then came to an end much sooner than anticipated at the start of the year when they were defeated by Akron 3-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Freshman Tommy Thompson was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection.  Senior midfielders A.J. Corrado and Nikita Kotlov and senior defender Jacob Bushue were also All-Big Ten Second Team selections.  
Offense -  The Hoosier attack last year was diverse with thirteen different players putting the ball into the back of the net at least once but Indiana lacked a dominent goal scorer as no one individual scored more than five goals.  There was no Eriq Zavaleta who netted 28 goals including nine game winners and contributed 9 assists during his two seasons in Bloomington or Will Bruin who scored 33 goals including eleven game winners and contributed 9 assists during his three year tenure as a Hoosier. Forward Tommy Thompson, who was named the 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year despite missing the last six matches of the season due to injury, looked to be the player who would emerge as the 2014 and possibly beyond big play guy for Indiana. However, Thompson elected to forego his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility to ink a Homegrown contract with Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes. The Hoosiers also must replace the offensive punch provided by midfielders Nikita Kotlov (5g, 3a), A.J. Corrado (3g, 7a) and Harrison Petts (2g, 2a) who have graduated and Dylan Mares (3g, 1a) who elected to enter the professional ranks.  Junior forward Femi Hollinger-Jenzen (5g, 0a), who saw action in all twenty-two contests last year with fourteen starts, is the top returning goal scorer.  Junior Andrew Oliver (3g, 0a) should also play a key role up-top. Junior Kyle Sparks who saw action in eight contests last year is among other returning players who should be in the mix up-top.  Seniors Dylan Lax (1g, 0a) and Jamie Vollmer (1g, 1a), and sophomore Tanner Thompson (1g, 4a) are among returning midfielders who saw action last year who should play key roles in 2014.  Junior Matt Foldesy who transfers in from Akron and freshman Michael Riedford who participated in the spring season should also be in the mix in the midfield.   
Defense - Indiana loses starting backs Jacob Bushue, a 2012 and 2013 All-Big Ten Second Team selection, and multi-year starter Matt McKain.  Seniors Patrick Doody (2g, 3a) and Kerel Bradford and sophomore Billy McConnell return to provide a solid core of defenders upon which to build.  Junior transfer Phil Fives from Akron, redshirt sophomore Derek Crevision, freshman Jack Griffith who participated in the spring season and 6"4" freshman Grant Lillard who played for the Chicago Fire Academy are among others who look to be in the hunt for playing time in the back. Redshirt junior Michael Soderland and sophomore Colin Webb return to give the Hoosiers two experienced goal keepers.  

Newcomers - Four Star Recruiting Class 

Phil Fives - Defender - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - North Allegheny High School - A junior transfer from Akron where he appeared in sixteen contests in two seasons. All-State sekectub,  Played club with the Cleveland Internationals. 

Matt Foldesy - Midfielder - North Olmsted, Ohio - St. Ignatius High School - Junior transfer from Akron.  Appeared in eighteen contests in 2013 with ten starts. Ohio Player of the Year as a senior.  Played club with the Cleveland Internationals. 

William Lukowski - Goalkeeper - Greenwood, Missouri - Lee's Summit High School - Junior transfer from Iowa Western Community College.  Started 23 matches and recorded sixteen shutouts and had a gaa of 0.31.  

Jack Griffith - Midfielder - Danville, Indiana - Brownsburg High School - Two-time First Team All-State.  NSCAA All-Region.  First Team All-Conference. Played club with Westside United. 

Michael Riedford - Midfielder - Evansville, Indiana - Reitz Memorial High School - 2013 NSCAA All-Region selection.  Evansville Courier and Press Player of the Year. First Team All-State.  Played club with Indiana United.   

Grant Lillard - Defender - HInsdale, Illinois - Hinsdale Central High School - Played club with Chicago Fire Academy.  Called into the U-20 Men's National Team camp.

Jay McIntosh - Midfielder - Kalamazoo, Michigan - Loy Norrix High School - Played club with Varbar.  Scored 80 goals and contributed 30 assists in high school.  All-State selection.  All-Conference selection for three seasons.  

Tim Mehl - Defender - Manhattan Beach, California - Loyola High School - Played with FRAM Soccer club.  Three year varsity starter in high school.  Third-Team All-CIF selection as sophomore and junior.  First-Team All-League. 

Francesco Moore - Defender - Highland Park, Illinois - Highland Park High School - Played club with the Chicago Magic-PSG.  Central Suburban League All-Conference selection. 

Jake Rufe - Midfielder - HUntsville, Alabama - Virgil Grissom High School - Played club with Vestavia Steamers.  Three-time HunsvilleTimes All-Metro First Team selection.  

Trevor Swartz - Midfielder - Cameron Park, California - Ponderosa High School - Played club with Galaxy Blues.  First-Team All-City.  All-League selection.  Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.  Netted 62 goals in high school.

Cory Thomas - Midfielder - Corydon, Indiana - Corydon Central High School - Played club for the River City Rovers.  First Team All-Conference.  All-District.  Three-time Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. 

Prognosis for 2014 - It's back to the drawing board for the Hoosiers in 2014 after a year in which they allowed more goals (38) than they scored (36). The Hoosiers will be without six starters who accounted for almost seventy per cent of the goals they scored last year. Add into that the fact that Indiana, as is always the case, has one of the most competitive schedules in the country and it is clear that Coach Yeagley, who was a four-time All-American as a player at UI, and his staff have their work cut out for them heading into the 2014 season.  Indiana's dance card in 2014 features ten teams that were in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and includes non-conference contests with the likes of Georgetown, Marquette, Louisville, and Notre Dame. The addition of Maryland to the Big Ten Conference makes an already extremely competitve conference even more competitive. The difficulty of Indiana's schedule provides little margin for error which can make the process of retooling and the learning curve that goes with it more challenging. In order for the Hoosiers to return to their typical level of excellence in 2014 Femi Hollinger-Janzen and Andrew Oliver will have to lead the way up-top.  Seniors Dylan Lax and Jamie Vollmer, sophomore Tanner Thompson and junior transfer Matt Foldesy look to be among the key midfielders while juniors Patrick Doody and Kerel Bradford will likely anchor the backline. Heading into the 2014 season the Hoosiers do not look to be as deep talent wise as they have been in years past.  That means some of the returning players are going to have to pick up the pace and several newcomers will have to contribute immediately if Indiana hopes to up their win total in 2014. The bar of excellence at Indiana is much higher than just reaching the NCAA Tournament.  Whether the 2013 season was simply an anomaly for this storied program or if the Hoosiers will regroup and bounce back in 2014 remains to be seen.      

 

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