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2015 Indiana Team and Recruiting Class Review

School – Indiana University 
Conference – Big Ten
Coach – Todd Yeagley (Sixth Season)
Background – No program in the country is more tradition rich than Indiana. The Hoosiers made their 28th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Touranment in 2014 and their 39th overall. Indiana has appeared in eighteen College Cups and has won eight National Championships. The Hoosiers have won the Big Ten Tournament title twelve times and the conference regular season title fourteen times since the Big Ten adopted men's soccer in 1991. After winning the National Championship in 2012, Indiana completed the 2013 season with a subpar by their own standards 8-12-2 overall record and a 2-4-0 mark in conference play. However, the Hoosiers showed a lot of grit and that they were still a force to contend with when they won the 2013 Big Ten Tournament to keep their streak of consecutive NCAA Tourney appearances intact. Nonetheless, the Hoosiers entered a pivitol 2014 season with more than the usual number of question marks on both sides of the ball and their opponents thinking it might be a year in which they would be able to enact a little revenge on the program that has dominated the Big Ten. The big question entering the 2014 season was whether the 2013 campaign was an anomaly or the beginning of a trend. The fact that IU was uncharacteristically absent from any national rankings heading into the 2014 season and that the Big Ten coaches predicted that the Hoosiers would finish fifth in the nine-team Big Ten Conference in their preseason poll was an indicator that some thought 2014 might be another down year for the Hoosiers. However, Indiana rebounded and proved otherwise. The Hoosiers were 3-3-2 in Big Ten play in 2014 which put them in the number six spot in regular season play. However they once again advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament and significantly exceeded expectations with a very productive 12-5-5 overall record. The Hoosiers were awarded the number five seed in the NCAA Tourney and a first round bye but were one and done in the tourney when they were upset 2-1 by Xavier. Indiana was ranked as the number seventeen team in the nation in the final 2014 NSCAA poll and the number twenty team in the country in the final College Soccer News poll. Forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen was a 2014 All-Big Ten First Team selection.  Midfielder Tanner Thompson was a 2014 NSCAA All-America team selection and an All-Big Ten First Team member. Defender Grant Lillard was named the All-Big Ten Freshman of the Year becoming the fifth IU player to earn that award in the past eight seasons.   
Offense – IU will enter the 2015 season without the services of midfielder Jamie Vollmer (4g, 5a) who has graduated. However, players who scored twenty-six of the thirty-four goals the Hoosiers put into the back of the net last year are slated to return in 2015 along with several very talented newcomers who have the potential to contribute right away. Seniors Femi Hollinger-Janzen (5g, 2a) and Andrew Oliver (4g, 1a) who were starters last year return to lead the attack up-top. Both are very capable finishers. Soccer savvy junior midfielder Tanner Thompson (6g, 3a) is a prime timer and team leader who will add an additional dimension to the offense. Senior midfielder Matt Foldesy (2g, 4a) who was a starter last year should also play a prominent role in the attack. Redshirt senior Kyle Sparks who saw action in nineteen contests last year also looks to be in the mix either up-top or in the midfield. Redshirt junior Richard Ballard and sophomores Trevor Swartz (2g, 0a), Jack Griffith (0g, 1a), MIchael Riedford (1g, 0a), and Brad Shaw are among a very solid group of returning midfielders. The addition of forward Ben Maurey who comes to Indiana as a graduate student after a successful tenure at Brown is a big plus. Maurey was an All-Ivy League Second Team selection in 2014 and a First Team selection in 2012. His athleticism, size and experience will add an additonal element to the offense and provides Yeagley with additional lineup options. Incoming freshmen midfielders Rece Buckmaster, Austin Panchot, Jeremiah Gutjahr, and Sam Stockton and forward Jordan Kleyn all have the potential to compete for playing time immediately.     
Defense – The Hossiers will need to fill the gaps that exist due to the graduation of starting left back Patrick Doody (4g, 5a) who was also a significant contributor on the offensive side of the ball last year, starting defensive midfielder Dylan Lax (1g, 0a) and veteran back Kerel Bradford. Sophomore left center back Grant Lillard (5g,1a) who was a 2014 College Soccer News First Team All-Freshman Team selection and redshirt junior right center back Derek Creviston return with the advantage of having a year of starting experience together under their belts. Lillard's ability to win and finish balls in the air also make him a dangerous weapon out of set pieces on the offensive side of the ball. Starting right back junior Billy McConnell (0g, 2a) is also back to give Yeagley a very solid base upon which to build. Junior Colin Webb returns to give the Hoosiers an experienced and very solid presence in goal.  Webb played every minute between the pipes for IU last year and recorded a 0.96 goals against average and seven clean sheets. Andrew Gutman out of the Chicago Fire Academy is among the newcomers who should compete for playing time in the back.   

Newcomers – Four Star Recruiting Class 

Coach Yeagley stated, "There is great character in this class.  We see a great work ethic and leadership. Overall I think this group is going to fit in nice with what we have and fight for quality minutes from day one."

Cody Jewett – Goalkeeper – Puyallup, Washington – Emerald Ridge High School – Played for U-17 through U-20 teams at IMG Academy in Bradenton. Prior to that help Emerald Ridge make its first state championship appearance.

Austin Panchot – Midfield – St. Louis, Missouri – Lafayette High School – Ranked by CSN as the number 62 player in the class of 2015. Played club soccer for St Louis Scott Gallagher Academy Team.  First Team All-Conference at Lafayette High.  

Rece Buckmaster – Midfield – Auburn, Indiana – Canterbury High School – Played for Indiana Fire Academy. 2014 NSCAA Youth All-American. Central Conference Starting XI for the 2013-2014 season. 

Sean Caulfield – Goalkeeper – East Lake, Florida – East Lake High School – Played club for West Florida Flames. U.S. Club Soccer Ntional Runner-Up and Super Y League North America champions.  Region III ODP team.

Jeremiah Guthahr – Midfielder – Bloomington, Indiana – Bloomington North High School – Played for Indiana Fire Academy.  Named to U.S. U-18 National Team training camp in 2014.  Graduating from high school a year early to come to IU.  

Andrew Gutman – Defender – Hinsdale, Illinois – Hinsdale Central High School – Played for U-17/18 Chicago Fire Academy. Also saw action with Chicago Fire Reserves in 2014.

Jordan Kleyn – Forward – Plainfield, Indiana – Avon High School – Played for Indiana Fire Academy. 2014 NSCAA All-American. First Team All-State. An athletee who also earned letters in basketball and track.  

Sam Stockton – Midfielder – Louisville, Kentucky – Trinity High School – Named 2014 Kentucky Mr. Soccer. Kentucky High School Athletics Association Most Outstanding Senior and Offensive MVP. NSCAA All-America selection. Played for Derby City Rovers.   

Ben Maurey- Forward – Downingtown, Pa – Malvern Prep – Graduate student who played three seasons at Brown.  Led the Bears in scoring last year with four goals and two assists.  Second Team All-Ivy in 2014.  Only played in three contests in 2013 before sustaining season ending injury.  All-Ivy First Team in 2012.

Prognosis for 2015 – With a very solid core of players slated to return in 2015 including eight starters from the 2014 season the bottom line is that the Hoosiers should be in the hunt for the Big Ten title and a high national ranking. Any discussion of Indiana men's soccer has to begin with head coach Todd Yeagley. As the son of legendary head coach Jerry Yeagley and a former four-time All-American and National Player of the Year at Indiana he likely bleeds Cream and Crimson and no doubt knows what it takes for IU to win at the highest level. Indiana remains the flagship team in the Big Ten but this is a conference that has arguably improved over the past ten years from top to bottom more than any in the country. There are no more easy wins in Big Ten play. Combine that with the fact that IU annually plays one of the most competitive slates of non-conference opponents in the country and the result is little margin for error nor time for a lengthy learning curve on either side of the ball. However that is the way it should be at a program like IU where expectations are always high and players come to Bloomington with the desire to play against the best and the knowledge that they will enter every game with a big target on their chests. In 2015 Indiana will likely once again not have one dominant goal scorer like they have had at times in the past. Thompson, Hollinger-Janzen, Oliver, Foldesy, and Maurey will likely power the attack by committee along with noteworthy assistance from headers by Lillard. The incoming freshmen have the ability to be difference makers but they will have a learning curve. Jewett and Panchot have the advantage of having enrolled in school in January but midfielder Rece Buckmaster out of the Indiana Fire Academy looks to be among the most likely candidates to hit the ground running. Yeagley will have a solid group of midfielders to work with and several options regarding where he uitilizes his players. The backline should be solid with Lillard, Creviston, and McConnell now having the additional benefit of a year of starting experience at IU on their resumes. Webb gives the Hoosiers an experienced, calm, composed, and very technically sound presence in goal.     


Posted in 2015 Team Reviews

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