The college soccer news preseason poll is based on a combination of factors including returning talent, experience, the projected impact of newcomers, and performance during the 2021 season.
The preseason poll serves as a starting point. college soccer news will issue a weekly poll throughout the season and a final season ending poll at the conclusion of the ncaa tournament.
|When the sun set on the 2021 season, Clemson had just topped Washington 2-0 behind two goals from forward Isaiah Reid to secure the program’s third national championship. |
Reid (9g, 3a) is among a solid nucleus of Tigers who return in 2022 with their sights set on earning back-to-back national titles. Fellow senior Mohamed Seye (5g, 2a) will join Reid up-top to power the offense along with junior midfielder Ousmane Sylla (5g, 7a). Sophomore forward Tim Strobeck (3g, 2a) and senior midfielder Alvaro Gomez (3g, 1a) and graduate student transfer midfielder Derek Waleffe, a 2021 All-Ivy League selection at Brown, are among others who Mike Noonan will likely look to for offensive punch.
No matter how you spin it, Clemson has some reloading to do on the defensive side of the ball due to the departure of multi-year starting backs Oskar Agren, Charlie Asensio and Justin Malou and goalkeeper George Marks. Junior center back Hamady Diop (3g, 3a), a 2021 All-ACC Second Team selection and two-year starter, and juniors Ben Erkens and Enrique Montana return to provide a solid foundation but less experienced group of defenders upon which to reload the backline.
This team may not be as good as last year’s team, and probably will not be, but they will improve as the season progresses and will again be a team that no one is going to want to have to face come NCAA Tournament time. There is no reason this team can’t captivate the country again in 2022.
Clemson opens the season on August 26 with a marquee match against Indiana at home.
|Washington is coming off a banner 2021 season during which they were 18-2-2 and advanced to the College Cup for the first time in program history. |
Redshirt senior Lucas Meek (4g, 5a), juniors Christian Soto (0g, 4a) and Imanol Rosales (3g, 2a), sophomore Kalani Kossa-Rienzi (2g, 3a) and transfer redshirt senior Omar Grey are among a solid contingent of returning midfielders. Junior Nick Scardina (5g, 3a) and sophomore Ilijah Paul (0g, 1a) return up-top.
Junior Sam Fowler, a talented two-year starter, returns in goal. Senior Gio Miglietti (6g, 2a) will likely anchor the back line in the center back role along with sophomore Nate Jones. Junior Khai Brisco, sophomore Chris Meyers and redshirt sophomore Gabe Threadgold are among other returning backs.
The Huskies will be without All-American midfielder Dylan Teves (12g, 8a) and defenders Ryan Sailor, Charlie Ostrem, Kendall Burks and Achille Robin. Expectations remain high but that is a lot of talent to replace and raises unanswered questions and concerns. Finding an answer will be very important. A lot of teams seem to be in the same boat heading into the 2022 season so its hard to imagine that a Washington team that has a ton of momentum under Jamie Clark will experience much, if any, of a drop-off.
|Georgetown returns a solid but less experienced core of players from the 2021 team that was 18-3-1 and advanced to the College Cup. The Hoyas have also added a very promising recruiting class. They face the very real challenge in 2022 of filling more than the average number of voids due to the combination of graduation and early departures to enter the professional ranks. |
Georgetown will enter the 2022 season without four of its top goal scorers from the 2021 team. Junior Marlon Tabora (4g, 6a), the Hoyas top returning goal scorer, is among returning players who will be counted upon to help fill the void that exists. Sophomore Ronan Dillow and newcomer Jacob Murrell are among other forwards with the potential to play a key role in 2022.
Senior Aidan Rocha (1g, 1a) and juniors Kyle Linhares (0g, 4a) and John Franks (2g, 3a) and sophomore Joe Buck are among returning midfielders.
Graduate Student Ethan Koehler who started six contests last year is among returning goalkeepers who will be tasked with taking over the starting job in goal that is vacant due to the departure of All-American and four-year starter Giannis Nikopolidis. Junior center back Kenny Nielsen, a two-year starter and senior back Daniel Wu, a 2021 All-Big East Second Team selectin and two-year starter, sophomore Kieran Sargeant and junior Dominic De Almeida return to anchor a backline that should be solid.
The Hoyas open the 2022 season on August 25 when they travel to face Pittsburgh.
|Everything came together for the Irish last year. The result was a season during which Notre Dame was 14-5-5, won the program’s first ever ACC Championship, and advanced to the College Cup. The formula for success under head coach Chad Riley will be the same in 2022 as in the past. Play tenacious defense, apply pressure, take care of the details, take advantage of opportunities to score out of free kicks, and don’t let up. |
Sophomore Matthew Roou (7g, 3a), junior Daniel Russo (3g, 4a) and sophomore Eno Nito (5g, 0a) return to power the attack up-top. Senior Ethan O’Brien (2g, 5a) will provide an experienced presence in the midfield.
Junior Bryan Dowd, who posted ten shutouts and had a 0.85 goals against average last year returns in goal. Graduate student Ben Giacobello (1g, 3a), junior Paddy Burns (3g, 5a) and sophomore Josh Ramsey (0g, 1a) return to anchor the backline. Senior Reese Mayer (1g, 2a) should slot in at defensive midfielder.
The Irish have voids to fill due to the departure of All-American forward Jack Lynn (10g, 4a), center back Philip Quinton and center midfielder Mohamed Omar who were selected in the first round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft. The big play ability that midfielder Dawson McCartney (7g, 5a) provided will also be missed.
|The Mountaineers return a balanced group that has the potential to build upon a very successful 2021 season during which West Virginia was 13-3-6 and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1981. |
Junior forward Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi (6g, 0a) and senior midfielder Luke McCormick (3g, 4a), a three-year starter and multi-year All-MAC selection, are among returning players who Dan Stratford will likely look to for playmaking ability. Redshirt senior Dyon Dromers (3g, 0a), juniors Ryan Baer (0g, 2a) and Ryan Crooks (2g, 4a) and sophomore Otto Ollikainen are among a deep contingent of returning midfielders.
Redshirt junior All-American Bjarne Thiesen, fifth year seniors Aaron Denk Gracia (0g, 2a) and Ike Swiger (2g, 2a), and sophomore Frederik Jorgensen (3g, 3a) return in the back.
Key departures include back Kevin Morris (2g, 2a), a rock solid five-year starter, and Steven Tekesky, a stalwart four year starter in goal.
|The Beavers will seek to build on a momentum generating 2021 season during which they won their first ever Pac-12 title, were awarded a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the Elite Eight. However, they will have to do so without the playmaking ability that midfielders Tyrone Mondi (8g, 5a) and Sofiane Djeffal (6g, 6a) and forward Tsiki Ntsabeleng (5, 8a) brought to the pitch and the shot stopping ability that Adrian Fernandez, a four-year starter, provided. |
On the plus side the Beavers will have the services of a hopefully healthy forward graduate student Adrian Molina-Diaz (6g, 2a) who missed a portion of the season due to injury and junior midfielder Thiam Mouhameth (7g, 3a) to power the offense. Junior Javier Armas (2g, 2a), a three-year starter, will add stability in the midfield and the backline should be very solid with senior Gael Gilbert, sophomore Joran Gerbert, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and sophomore Nicklas Lund slated to return.
|The Wildcats have some gaps to fill on the defensive side of the ball but appear to have the ingredients needed to be well positioned to build on a program best 17 win 2021 season during which they secured the America East regular season title and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen behind an offense that produced a total of 47 goals and only allowed 10. |
Marc Hubbard has effectively utilized transfers in the past and has once again in 2022 to put together a roster that has the depth, balance and experience required to handle the inevitable injuries that occur without a drop off in performance.
Graduate students Paul Meyer (6g, 5a) and Tola Showunmi (10g, 3a) return to add punch to the attack up-top. The midfield will again be very talented and experienced with graduate student Johann von Knebel, senior Rory O’Driscoll (7g, 2a) and junior Yannick Bright (0g, 3a) slated to return.
Senior Jassem Koleilat who had a .427 goals against average with eight shutouts returns in goal to anchor the defense along with junior back Liam Bennett who played in 12 games last year with 12 starts.
The departure of graduate students Bridger Hansen (3g, 0a), a two-year starter and 2020 All-American, Adam Savill (0g, 3a), a 2021 All-American, and Sam Henneberg (0g, 6a), a two-year starter, creates a void on the defensive side of the ball that must be addressed. Junior transfer back Moise Bombito who was an All-American at Iowa Western Community College should help accomplish that.
|Pitt will be a very competitive team once again in 2022 but projections of just how competitive depend on whether you have a cup half full or cup half empty frame of mind. |
The great news is that junior Bertin Jacquesson (7g, 11a) returns to spearhead the offense up top, graduate student Jackson Walti (1g, 2a) and Rodrigo Almeida (7g, 6a), junior playmaker Valentin Noel (7g, 5a) and sophomore Guilherme Feitosa, the ACC Freshman of the Year, return in the midfield and senior center back back Mohammad Abualnadi returns to anchor the backline. Collectively they provide a talented and experienced nucleus around which to build.
The perhaps not so good news is that the Panthers will enter the 2022 season without the services of midfielder Veljko Petkovic (5g, 5a), forward Dexter Alexander (4g, 4a), defenders Jasper Loeffelsend, a 2020 and 2021 All-American, Arturo Ordonez, a four-year starter, Raphael Crivello, a two-year starter, and goalkeeper Nico Campuzano who played a key role in the success the program has had.
Jay Vidovich, the 2020 and 2021 ACC Coach of the Year, has brought on board several graduate student transfers, defenders Yanis Leerman and Henrique Gallina and midfielder Ideal Shefqeti among others, who should hit the ground running. Much will hinge on how well the newcomers merge in with returning players.
Vidovich will not have to wait long to get a sense of how competitive his team will be with season opening games against Georgetown and West Virginia at home and Marshall on the road.
|Saint Louis waved goodbye to more high-end talent than most. A cursory review indicates the Billikens will be in reload mode in 2022 but a deeper dive establishes that panic is not warranted as the cupboard is far from bare. |
Continuity could be a factor but the 2022 team will again be very competitive with a core of talented starters slated to return along with a group of players that have been with the program for several years who are ready to assume a greater role in 2022. Kevin Kalish will also welcome a recruiting class that contains a good mixture of experienced graduate student transfers along with several freshmen with the ability to contribute immediately.
Junior midfielder John Klein (7g, 15a), an Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference selection with four-seasons of starting experience, sophomore midfielder Kevin Komodi (3g, 5a) who played in twenty matches with one start last year and sophomore forwards Erich Legut and and Seth Anderson (2g, 1a), a 2021 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team selection, are among returning players with playmaking ability.
Senior transfer back Alberto Suarez, the 2021 ASUN Player of the Year at Central Arkansas, sophomore defensive midfielder Christian Buendia (2g, 2a), a starter for two seasons, and graduate student transfer Lane Warrington, a multi-year starter at SMU, are among key ingredients on the defensive side of the ball.
Freshman goalkeeper Yuval Sade who had a solid spring season looks to be the likely candidate to fill the big shoes that exists due to the departure of netminder Patrick Schulte.
|Kentucky is coming off a very productive 2021 season during which they were 15-2-4, won the CUSA Tournament, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons. The Wildcats will begin play as an affiliate member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2022 after having been an affiliate member of CUSA from 2005 through 2021. |
Firth year senior Daniel Evans (5g, 0a) and senior Eythor Bjorgolfsson (5g, 1a), the 2021 CUSA Tournament Offensive MVP, return up-top. Senior Nick Gutmann (3g, 5a), junior Enzo Mauriz (1g, 5a), fifth year senior Clay Holstad and sophomore Martin Soereide return in a midfield.
The backline should be a team strength will fifth year senior Mason Visconti (0g, 5a), senior Robert Screen (0g, 6a), a 2021 All-CUSA Second Team selection, graduate student Lucca Rodrigues (5g, 2a) and senior Luis Grassow (3g, 3a), a 2021 All-CUSA First Team member returning.
The departure of All-American goalkeeper Jan Hoffelner who had a 0.42 goals against average with 12 shutouts leaves some big shoes to fill.
|Just about everyone returns from a young Duke team that was 14-5-1 and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Unfortunately, All-American forward and the ACC Offensive Player of the Year Thorleifur Ulfarrson, a difference maker who was responsible for 15 of the 42 goals that Duke scored last year, and center back Ian Murphy, a mainstay starter on defense for four seasons are among those who will not be back. |
The Blue Devils return a very talented and deep midfield including junior Peter Stroud (4g, 4a), the ACC Midfielder of the Year, junior center midfielder Nick Pariano, junior holding midfielder Santa Ihara. and sophomores attacking midfielder Shakur Mohammed (3g, 7a), the ACC Freshman of the Year. and Felix Barajas (3g, 2a).
Graduate Student Eliot Hamill, a two-season starter, returns between the pipes to provide a solid presence in goal. Juniors Lewis McGarvey, Antino Lopez, and Amir Daley who are all two-year starters return to anchor what should be a very good backline. Sophomore Jai Bean (2g, 2a) and junior Miguel Ramirez (2g, 1a) are among returning forwards. Freshman forward Alex Bonnington is among the newcomers who could add punch to the attack.
|There are a lot of reasons for Tulsa head coach Tom McIntosh and the Tulsa faithful to feel optimistic heading into the 2022 season. For starters Tulsa has the momentum that comes with a 16 win season during with they won both the AAC regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in NCAA Tournament play. |
The Golden Hurricane return junior forward Alex Meinhard (12g, 2 a), the AAC Offensive Player of the Year, senior midfielder Henry Sach, the AAC Midfielder of the Year, senior Mariano Fazio, the AAC Midfielder of the Year, and sophomore Alex Lopez, the AAC Goalkeeper of the Year.
Junior Malik Henry-Scott (7g, 2a), a two-year starter and 2021 All-AAC Second Team selection adds an additional element up-top along with seniors Austen Schweinert (2g, 4a), Takayoshi Wyatt (3g, 0a) and sophomore Tom Protzek (2g, 4a) to what should be a very balanced offense.
Junior Luke Jeffus (1g, 1a), a two-year starter, returns in the midfield and senior back Mitchell Cashion who has appeared in 37 games with 31 starts returns to add stability to the defense.
|Hofstra is coming off a program best 18 win season during which they won both the CAA regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. A ton of experience returns on both sides of the ball for a team that averaged 2.55 goals per game last year while allowing an average of 0.95 goals per contest. |
Junior forward Ryan Carmichael (15g, 9a), who led the nation in points and was second in goals scored, and senior All-American midfielder Hendrik Hebbeker (9g, 11a) are back to power an attack that should again be difficult to contain. Graduate students Francesco Perinelli (1g, 4a) and Joe Wright and junior Roc Carles (3g, 2a) are among other returning midfielders.
Junior Wessel Speel, a 2021 All-CAA First Team selection and two year starter, returns to anchor the defense. Players like back George O’Malley, the 2021 CAA Defensive Player of the Year and five year starter, are not easy to replace but the backline should be solid with senior Stefan Mason, a three-year starter, senior Shane Salmon, junior Pierce Infuso (2g, 2a) and sophomore Mason Tatafu (3g, 1a), the 2021 CAA Rookie of the Year, slated to return.
Much will also hinge on Hofstra’s ability to fill the void that exists due to the departure of forward Matthew Vowinkey (13g, 9a) who had 42 career goals and midfielder Storm Strongin (2g, 11a) who was a four-year starter with 26 career assists.
|The Friars will be without the services of forward Davis Smith (5g, 4a), midfielders Paulo Lima (4g, 4a) and Simon Triantafillou (1g, 6a) and back Malcom Duncan, a five-year starter, from the 2021 team that was 12-5-4 overall and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. |
But the 2022 team has the chance to be better with an offense that will be powered by the likes of junior forwards Brendan McSorley (9g, 3a) and Gevork Diarbian (3g, 6a) and senior midfielder Luis Garcia (5g, 5a) and a defense led in goal by junior Lukas Burns and a backline that will include graduate students Ramzi Qawasmy, a four-year starter, and Miguel Candela and sophomore Cole Dewhurst who now has a year of starting experience under his belt.
Graduate students Christopher Roman (3g, 3a), a three-year starter, and Kevin Vang (2g, 2a), a three-year starter, and junior Armaan Wilson (1g, 2a) are among other returning midfielders who will be in the mix.
All five of Providence’s losses were away from home last year. The opportunity for improvement exists in that regard.
|The good news is that five of Indiana’s top six goal scorers from the 2021 season return which is a plus. However that must be qualified by pointing out that the one who will not be back is forward Victor Bezerra (8g, 5a) who was Indiana’s top goal scorer in 2019, 2020 and 2021. |
Look for the Hoosiers to have a balanced attack in 2022 propelled by sophomore forwards Samuel Sarver and Tommy Mihalic (5g, 1a), senior Herbert Endeley (2g, 5a), redshirt senior Ryan Wittenbrink (3g, 5a), senior Maouloune Goumballe (3g, 5a) and senior Nate Ward (0g, 1a) among others. The addition of senior transfer forward Karsen Henderlong, an 2021 All-Big East First Team selection, adds an additional dimension to the offense.
The departure of All-American goalkeeper and three-year starter Roman Celentano and back Spencer Glass, a multi-year starter and mainstay, creates a void that must be addressed on the defensive side of the ball. Redshirt senior All-American Daniel Munie (2g, 2a), the 2021 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, junior Joey Maher (2g, 2a), redshirt senior Nyk Sessock, senior Brett Bebej (1g, 2a) and junior Landon Redmon are among returning backs.
Indiana is coming off a 15-6-1 2021 season during which they finished in the number three spot in the Big Ten standings, earned the program’s 35th consecutive invite to the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
Expectations are always high for the Hoosiers. Earning a NCAA berth isn’t the issue at IU. It is whether or not they win the Big Ten title and the bigger question of how far they advance in the NCAA Tournament. Are the Hoosiers good enough to win the Big Ten title in 2022 and make a deeper run in the NCAA Tourney? The short answer is yes but it will require reasonable improvement on both sides of the ball and a renewed focus.
|Optimism is warranted anytime a program with the sustained success that Wake Forest has enjoyed returns eight starters and a solid contingent of players who gained valuable playing time last year supplemented by another very highly regarded recruiting class. |
However, there are concerns that must be addressed beginning with the need for a go-to goal scorer or two to emerge up-top to fill the significant void that exists due to the graduation of forward Kyle Holcomb (12g, 4a) who was the main man in the Demon Deacon offense in 2020 and 2021. Returning forwards include senior David Wrona (0g, 1a) and sophomores Julian Kennedy (3g, 1a), Roland Mitchell (5g, 2a) and Babacar Niang (1g, 0a).
The midfield looks to be a team strength with seniors Omar Hernandez (5g, 3a), Jake Swallen (5g, 6a) and Takuma Suzuki (0g, 3a) slated to return along with juniors Chase Oliver (4g, 4a), Colin Thomas (1g, 2a) and Oscar Sears (1g, 2a) among others.
Sophomore Trace Alphin and redshirt junior Cole McNally return to give Wake Forest two very talented and capable goalkeepers. The backline should be very good with juniors Garrison Tubbs (1g, 5a) Hosei Kijima (1g, 5a), Prince Amponsah (0g, 2a) and Jahlane Forbes (1g, 3a) among a deep contingent of returning backs.
Wake Forest is coming off a good but not great (by their standards) 2021 season during which they were 13-7-1 with a 4-3-1 mark in ACC play, earned the programs 11th consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
Overall improvement in 2022 seems like a given based on the experience the younger players gained last year.
|The pieces return for Marshall to again be very competitive in 2022. Just how competitive will hinge on the their ability to consistently settle into a rhythm of play with the ball control skills, intensity, and patience needed to apply pressure up-top without impacting the stability of their play on the defensive side of the ball. When the Thundering Herd is able to do they are a very difficult opponent to top but when they don’t, as was the case in their last three games of the 2021 season, they are vulnerable. |
Marshall will have a different look in 2022 due to departures but their possession oriented style of play that has been the trademark of the program under Chris Grassie will remain the same. However, the Herd will find out what life is like without the playmaking ability of midfielders Victor Diaz (5g, 5a) and Pedro Dolabella (10g, 6a) and backs Nathan Dossantos and Jan-Erik Leinhas (1g, 3a) who were key contributors in the resurgence of the program.
Redshirt senior Milo Yosef (3g, 8a), a three-year starter and 2021 All-CUSA First Team member, senior Alexander Adjetey (2g, 3a) and graduate student Ibrahima Diop (2g, 0a) return up-top. Graduate student Vinicius Fernandes (6g, 8a) returns to set the pace in the midfield along with senior Joao Souza (1g, 3a).
Graduate student Oliver Semmle, a two-year starter with 19 career shutouts, returns to give the Herd a very talented and experienced shot stopper in goal. Graduate student Collin Mocyunas, a stalwart four-year starter, junior Gabriel Alves (0g, 2a), a two-year starter, and sophomore Mohammed Seidu who played in ten contests last year with four starts are among returning defenders.
|FIU will move from CUSA to the American Athletic Conference in 2022 with nine starters back from the 2021 team that was 12-4-2 and won the CUSA regular season title. |
Senior Stephen Afrifa (8g, 3a), a 2021 All-CUSA First Team selection, and sophomore attacking midfielder Bernardo Dos Santos (7g, 1a), the CSUA Freshman of the Year and an All-CUSA First Team, return to give the Panthers a solid one-two punch on the offensive side of the ball. Senior forward Rasmus Tobinski (3g, 2a) will provide another dimension to the attack.
Graduate student defensive midfielder Matteo Gasperoni, an All-CUSA First Team member, returns to set the pace in the center of the park. Seniors Matthias Lavenant (0g, 1a) and Yushi Nagao (0g, 3a) and sophomore playmaker Julian Hodek (1g, 8a) round out what should be a very effective group of midfielders.
The departure of defender Kareem Riley (5g, 1a), a 2021 All-CUSA First Team selection and team leader who anchored the backline, leaves some big shoes to fill. Senior defenders David Garcia (3g, 1a) and sophomore Edgar Aguilar (0g, 1a) who were starters last year return in the back along with seniors Carlos Sheckermann and Noriyuki Ito. Senior Tyler Hogan Tyler who had a 1.34 goals against average last year returns in goal.
FIU opens the season when they host Akron on August 25 followed by equally challenging contests on the road against St. John’s and North Carolina.
|Departures due to graduation mean that the Hokies will enter the 2022 season without a group of seniors, including forward Jacob Labovitz, a three-year starter with 23 career goals, and defender Silvert Hugli, a four-year starter and team captain with 73 career starts, who had a lot to do with the winning culture that now exists at Virginia Tech under Mike Brizendine. |
Despite the departures Virginia Tech looks to be a deep team in 2022 with a lot of lineup options. The departure of Labovitz, the Hokies top goal scorer in 2020 and 2021, does create some uncertainty on the offensive side of the ball since it means Virginia Tech will enter the season for the first time in several years without an established go-to goal scorer. Senior forward Daniel Starr and midfielders senior playmaker Nick Blacklock (2g, 3a), a three-year starter, tenacious junior Conor Pugh (6g, 2a) and sophomore box-to-box midfielder Danny Flories are among returning players who are likely candidates to help fill the void that exists.
Senior midfielder Mayola Kinyua, a two-year starter and team catalyst is among other returning players who will play a key role in 2022. Sophomore transfer Will Cardona is among the newcomers who will add depth to the midfield.
Sophomore Ben Martino returns in goal to anchor the defense with the advantage that accompanies a year of starting experience under his belt. Experienced defenders graduate students Cameron Joice and Kyle McDowell and junior stalwart Welnilton Da Silva Jr. are among what looks to be a solid backline.
|Maryland did a much better job last year of applying the type of pressure on their opponents that has been the trademark of the program in the past. Look for more of the same in 2022 as the Terps return the talented needed on both sides of the ball to build on a productive 2021 season in which they were 12-4-2 overall with a 5-2-1 mark in Big Ten play. |
Redshirt sophomore Joshua Bolma (4g, 4a), the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an All-Big Ten First Team selection, returns to add firepower to the attack. Seniors Hunter George (1g, 1a) and Justin Harris (1g, 0a) are among others who the Terps will likely look to for offensive productivity.
The Terps annually do a good job of bringing on board quality prospects. Junior transfer Stefan Copetti, a 2021 All-MAAC First Team selection at Marist, and graduate student transfer German Giammattei from Amherst College are among the members of the recruiting class with the potential to contribute to the attack right out of the gate.
Senior Malcolm Johnson (2g, 1a) and redshirt senior holding midfielder Nick Richardson (0g, 2a) return to set the pace for the Terps in the center of the park.
Senior Nicklas Neumann, a 2021 All-Big Ten Second Team selection, returns to give Maryland a talented and experienced shot stopper in goal. Junior Alex Nitzl (0g, 1a), a three-year starter returns to anchor the backline along with senior center back Chris Rindov (2g, 2a). Sophomore William Kulvik (0g, 1a). a 2021 All-Big Ten Freshman selection, who played in 15 games with 10 starts last year returns in the back with the benefit of a year of playing experience under his belt.
|Michael Seabolt, who has been on the coaching staff since 2007, takes over the reigns of the program from veteran head coach Jon Leamy who retired after thirty seasons as the head coach at Missouri State. Seabolt inherits a solid core but has some reloading to do due to the departure of a banner 2021 senior class that included multi year starters goalkeeper Michael Creek, backs Kyle Hiebert, Connor Langan and Greg Stratton and forwards Josh Dolling and Nicole Mulatero. |
Senior Aadne Bruseth (1g, 5a), a three-year starter, senior Jon Koka (6g, 1a) and junior Jesus Barea (5g, 2a), a two-year starter, are among returning players who Seabolt will count on for offensive productivity up-top.
Kian Yari (2g, 8a), a two-year starter and 2021 MVC Player of the Year, returns to set the pace for the Bears in the middle of the park. Senior Javier Martin, junior Adrian Barosen and sophomore Michael Peck are among returning defenders.
Seabolt has brought on board a 14 member recruiting class that includes ten international players who should contribute immediately.
Missouri State is coming off a 17-2-0 season during which they won the MVC regular season and tournament titles and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.
|The Nittany Lions are coming off a banner but nonetheless roller coaster 13-7-1 season during which they won the Big Ten regular season title for the first time since 2013 and tournament title for the first time since 2005. The up and down nature of Penn State’s season was reflected in the fact that the number 12 seeded Nittany Lions were one and done in the NCAA Tournament when their their five game winning streak and season came to an end when they were thumped 8-2 at home by Hofstra. |
There is much to like about what is likely a highly motivated Penn State squad that is no doubt eager to return to the pitch and put the disappointment in regard to the way the 2021 season ended behind them. Junior forward Peter Mangione (7g, 4a), the 2021 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and senior Liam Butts (4g, 1a), a three-year starter, will power the attack up-top. Both have the ability to dial up big plays.
Senior Andrew Privett (9g, 4a), a 2021 All-Big Ten Second Team selection, graduate student Seth Kuhn (5g, 8a), a 2021 All-Big Ten Second Team member, senior Kyle May and sophomore Sean Buttenhausen are among returning midfielders.
Juniors Femi Awodesu (2g, 1a), a two-year starter, and Tyler Evans (1g, 2a) and seniors Alex Stevenson (0g, 3a), a three-year starter, and Jalen Watson return in the back. Senior Kris Shakes, a talented and experienced three-year starter, returns in goal to anchor the defense.
Key departures include defender Brandon Hackenberg, a three-year starter and All-Big Ten First Team selection, midfielder and team leader Pierre Reedy who appeared in 69 career games with 64 starts, and playmaker forward Daniel Bioyou who contributed 12 goals and 9 assists during a banner two-year tenure.
|There is a lot to like about UCLA as Ryan Jordan begins his fourth season at the helm of a program that returns eight starters, a strong supporting cast, and a promising recruiting class to a team that was 11-7-1 last year. The Bruins took a big step forward last year by returning to the NCAA Tournament field for the first time since 2018. |
Seniors Kevin Diaz (6g, 4a) and Constantinos Michaelides (I2g, 0a), junior Grayson Doody (0g, 3a) and sophomores Jose Contell (5g, 6a) and Aaron Edwards (2g, 3a) return to power what should be a multi-dimensional attack up-top. The addition of junior transfer Andre Ochoa, an All-Pac 12 selection at San Diego State, adds another dangerous attacker to the mix.
Redshirt senior Jose Sosa (1g, 2a), a two-year starter, senior Riley Ferch, a three-year starter, and redshirt sophomore Tucker Lepley (5g, 7a), a 2021 College Soccer News First Team All-Freshman selection and All Far West Second Team selection, are among a talented group of returning midfielders.
The departure of Justin Garces, a four-year starter, means that the Bruins will have a new face in goal.
Sophomore Nate Crockford who started the UCLA’s last four games in 2021 and junior Tyler Kirberg who appeared in three games last year with one start return in goal.
The departure of defender Ben Reveno, a three-year starter, leaves a void in the back that must be addressed. Center back Pietro Grassi (0g, 2a), a 2021 College Soccer News All-Freshman and Pac-12 All Conference Second Team member, and juniors Tommy Silva (6g, 4a), a 2021 Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team selection, are among returning backs. Transfer back graduate student Nicolas Blassou, a four-year starter at American University and 2021 All-Patriot League First Team selection, should hit the ground running.
|The Tar Heels enter the 2022 season with more than the usual number of unanswered questions. However, sufficient talent returns supplemented by a super sized recruiting class that includes 12 freshmen and six transfers. |
Graduate student Milo Garvanian (4g, 2a), juniors Tim Schels (2g, 3a), Riley Thomas, Ernest Bawa (3g, 1a), Yaya Bakayoko (0g, 2a) and seniors Cameron Fisher (5g, 2a) and Victor Olofsson (0g, 1a) are among returning players who will be in the mix and add continuity.
Transfers graduate students Hilli Goldhar from Syracuse and Sebastian Schacht, a multi-year All-WCC First Team selection at Saint Mary’s, and sophomore Juan Caffaro, the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year at Barry, are among the newcomers who should add playmaking ability.
Graduate student transfers Till Zinnhardt, a three-year starter at Tulsa, and James Person, a three-year starter at Saint Mary’s, are solid additions to the backline. The departure of Alec Smir, a four-year starter and multi-year ACC selection, means the Tar Heels will have a new face in goal.
The transfer plug and play concept can be an effective way to fill an immediate void and has become more common due to the transfer portal and the additional year of eligibility. The talent is on board and UNC will be well coached in 2022. Much will depend on how well the pieces fit together.
|Senior Nathan Masters (3g, 5a), a three-year starter, and junior Kyle Cusimano, a two-year starter, return to power the attack up-top. |
It has been a long time since Bowling Green had to enter a season without the services of midfielder Zach Buescher who was a four-year starter and team captain. What Buescher brought to the pitch will not be easy to replace. However, a talented and deep contingent of midfielders return including sophomore midfielder Alberto Anaya (5g, 4a), the 2021 MAC Freshman of the Year and College Soccer News All-Freshman Team selection, fifth year seniors Jensen Lukacsko (0g, 3a) and Sergi Martinez (3g, 6a), and senior Kale Nichols (3g, 2a), a three-year starter, among others.
The departure of center back Jacob Erlandson (6g, 4a), a two-year starter and All-MAC First Team selection also creates a gap on both sides of the ball that must be addressed. The Falcons had a setback when senior defender Michael Montemurri (2g, 1a), a three-year starter and iron man in the back, sustained an injury during the spring season that will likely keep him out of the lineup for a portion of the 2022 season. Without Erlandson and Montemurri the Falcons will have a different look defensively which creates the potential for a learning curve in the early going.
Returning backs include junior Joey Akpunonu (2g, 2a), a two-year starter and 2021 All-MAC Second Team selection and seniors Carter Womack and Josh Erlandson. Freshman defender Amer Dedic is among the members of the 2020 recruiting class who could help fill the void that exists.
Senior Logan Kowalczyk who started the first 14 games of the 2021 season before sustaining a shoulder injury returns in goal along with junior Brendan Graves who started the last six contests of the season. Both are very capable netminders.
|Campbell will again have an explosive and balanced attack in 2022 with six of their top eight goals scorers including their top three producers slated to return from the 2021 team that scored a total of 55 goals, won the Big South regular season and tournament titles, and punched their ticket to the NCAA Tourney for the second time in the last three years. |
Redshirt junior midfielder Tyler Young (9g, 9a), the 2021 Big South Player of the Year, sophomore forward Kenny Amiche (7g, 11a), a 2021 College Soccer News All-Freshman First Team selection, redshirt senior forward Jalen James (4g, 0a), senior forward Danny Hernandez (9g, 1a) and junior forward Gerard Broussard (5g, 2a) are all capable of lighting up the back of the net.
Some reloading is required on the defensive side of the ball but a solid nucleus returns led by redshirt junior goalkeeper Edu Rodriguez in goal and senior center backs Bissafi Dotte (2g, 1a), the 2021 All-Big South Defensive Player of the Year and three-year starter and Diego Konincks, a 2021 All-Big South First Team selection and three-year starter, and stalwart senior left back Moses Mensah, a three-time All-South Region and All-Big South Conference First Team selection.
Campbell looks to be a team that is talented, experienced, and hungry to take the program to a higher level which is a combination that makes them a very dangerous team to face.
|The Broncos under veteran head Cameron Rast are coming off a 12-2-4 season during which they claimed the West Coast Conference title for the first time since 2005 and made their presence known on the national scene by returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. |
Senior forward Oladayo Thomas (9g, 8a), a 2021 All-WCC First Team selection, returns to power the attack up-top along with redshirt junior Joshua Dabora (5g, 2a). a 2021 All-WCC Second Team selection.
Graduate Student Alejandro Barajas (0g, 3a), a 2021 All-WCC team member and three-year starter, sophomore Caden Buckley (0g, 2a) who started 17 contests last year, and seniors Eduardo Lopez Perez (4g, 0a) and Jack Murphy (1g, 3a) are among returning midfielders.
Junior center back Damani Osei returns to anchor the backline along with graduate student Alejandro Perez, an experienced four-year starter, and sophomore Tyrone Kirunda (2g, 3a), a 2021 WCC All-Freshman Team selection.
The number of departures creates concerns that will be addressed in part by the 2022 recruiting class. Junior transfer forward Jesse Anamoo and freshman back Naji Elder are among the newcomers who could contribute immediately.
|Ten starters are back from the 2021 team that was 10-4-5, won the Summit League regular season and tournament titles, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they edged by 1-0 in overtime by eventual national champion Clemson. |
The 2022 team has the potential to be the most productive Denver team in terms of wins since the 2018 team was 15-4-2. However, the Pioneers will not have a go-to goal scorer like Andre Shinyashiki who powered Denver’s offense back in 2018 with 28 goals which is eight more than than the Pioneers scored in total in 2021.
Denver will be a tough opponent to face in 2022 but they will, like the 2021 team, have a small margin for error unless a go-to goal scorer or two emerges to enhance their big play ability on the offensive side of the ball.
Graduate student Stefan DeLeone (3g, 3a), a seasoned four-year starter, returns up-top. Senior Kengo Ohira (4g, 2a), a three-year starter, will add another dimension to the offense in the midfield. Senior Aidan O’Toole (1g, 1a), a stalwart three-year starter, senior holding midfielder Eli Mereness (0g, 1a) and juniors Ben Smith (1g, 1a) and Luckas Fisher (4g, 2a) are among what will be a very competitive Pioneer midfield.
Graduate student center back and mainstay Liam Johnson, a four-year starter, team captain, and the 2021 Summit League Defensive Player of the Year, returns to anchor the backline along with graduate student Jake Mecham, a two-year starter, junior Ronan Wynee, a two-year starter, and sophomore center back Trevor Wright (2g, 0a).
Graduate student Will DeSantis who had a 0.76 goals against average last year with six shutouts returns to anchor a defense and team under Jamie Franks that should win a lot of games.
|UNCG had one of the most explosive attacks in the country last year averaging 2.89 goals per game. They will seek to replicate that again in 2022 but will have to do so without the services of All-American forward Theo Collomb (15g, 5a) who entered the professional ranks after two highly productive seasons in Greensboro. |
Sophomore attacking midfielder JC Ngando (5g, 8a), the 2021 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, just might provide the spark that the Spartans need on offense in 2022. Forwards junior Maycol Reyes (2g, 2a) and sophomore Sam Coad (1g, 2a) are among other returning players who will add firepower to the attack. Sophomore Yoshiya Okawa. a transfer from Radford where he was a 2021 All-Big South Second Team selection, is among the newcomers with the potential to provide additional punch up-top.
Seniors Izaiah Vignali and Fernando Garcia (3g, 2a) and sophomores Jack Birch (2g, 1a) and Basile Marc (1g, 2a) are among returning midfielders.
Sophomore NIclas Wild, the 2021 Southern Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, returns between the pipes. Center backs senior Marco Milanese (2g, 1a) and sophomore Emmanuel Hagen return to anchor the backline along with Junior Ethan Conley, a three-year starter, senior Matthew Cutler and junior Matthew Skinner.
The Spartans are coming off a 13-4-1 season, their most wins in a season since 2006, during which they won the Southern Conference regular season title. However, the success that UNCG had last year was muted when their goal of a return trip to the NCAA Tournament was derailed by a loss to nemesis Belmont in the semifinals of the conference tournament. The Spartans will have their sights set on a different ending in 2022.
|Don’t overlook Georgia State. Many of the teams that are ranked higher are there on brand recognition and expectations. This one is all based on talent and results. |
The Panthers return a solid core from the 2021 team that was 13-7-0, earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, and secured the program’s first ever win in NCAA Tournament play. Georgia State, which had wins last year over the likes of Akron, West Virginia and Charlotte, returns to the Sun Belt Conference after a one-year stay in the MAC.
Senior Max Wilkins (6g, 0a) and sophomore Ethan Sassine (6g, 1a), a 2021 All-MAC Second Team selection, return up-top.
The midfield will be deep and experienced with the return of seniors Ross Finley (1g, 6a), a 2021 All-MAC selection, Jack Hinton-Jones, and Justin Guest (5g, 1a), juniors Simon Carlson (2g, 4a) and Logan Loque, sophomore Bryan Silva (1g, 3a) and graduate students Matthew Fearnley (3g, 1a), Iolo Jones (0g, 1a) and Tristan Jumeau (0g, 1a). Fifth year transfer midfielder Mario Arrocha, a 2021 All-Big South First Team member at USC Upstate, is a solid addition who will add another dimension to the attack.
The departure of mainstay defender George Proctor, a five year starter, and 2021 All-MAC First Team selection, creates big shoes that must be a filled. Senior Ramon Munoz (1g, 2a), a three-year starter, junior Alex Henderson and graduate student Clay Dawes are among returning backs.
Senior Gunther Rankenburg, a 2021 All-MAC First Team member, gives the Panthers a talented and composed presence in goal.
|Dr. David Masur will enter his 31st year as the head coach at St. John’s with a solid contingent of returning players to work with up-top and in the midfield. The unanswered questions and critical success factors in 2022 are who, other than Brandon Knapp (5g, 6a), a 2021 All-Big East First Team selection and four-year starter, will emerge to energize the offense and how effectively will the Johnnies fill the voids that exist due to departures on the defensive side of the ball. St. John’s will be very competitive but there is no getting around the fact that some uncertainty exists on both sides of the ball. |
Graduate Student midfielder Einar Lye (3g, 4a) who has ten career goals and senior forwards Wesley Leggett (3g, 1a) and Adrian Roseth (1g, 1a) are among the returning players who are the most likely candidates to add an additional dimension to the offense. Junior forward Nigel Griffith, a transfer from Temple, is among the newcomers who could add an additional spark to the attack.
The midfield looks to be deep with Knapp, Lye, graduate student Ethan Shaw, senior Atila Ashrafi (1g,4a) and juniors Aidan Borra and Riyon Tori returning.
The departure of All-American goalkeeper Luka Gavran and several talented backs who were multi-year starters creates a void. Graduate student Sannoussi Sangary, senior Ignacio Sanchez, redshirt junior Jack Russo and redshirt sophomore Jack Blumberg are among returning backs. Transfer Jordan Bailon from Dartmouth is among several members of the recruiting class who will contribute immediately in the back. Early season contests against FIU and Indiana will test the reloaded defense.
Others Receiving Votes: Akron, Portland, NIU, Grand Canyon, Charlotte, Creighton, Loyola Maryland