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 2022 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.
|Ian McIntyre combined a solid group of returning players with several transfers to create a unified Syracuse team that won the 2022 National Championship. He will seek to replicate the success the program had last year by again combining a solid core of returning players with several experienced transfers. Seniors Noah Singelmann, Buster Sjoberg and Jackson Glen and junior Olu Oyegunle return to form what should be a very good Orange backline. Junior center back Andre Cutler-Dejesus and Pablo Pedregosa are among the transfers who should strengthen the defense. Returning midfielders Jeorgio Kocevski (5g, 4a) and Giona Leibold (5g, 2a) and transfers Rodrigo Almeida from Niagara, Felipe D’Agostini from Oral Roberts and Mateo Leveque from Connecticut are among the players who will be tasked with providing the big play ability that All-American forwards Levonte Johnson (11g, 6a) and Nathan Opoku (11g, 8a) generated last year.
|Indiana struggled by their own standards early on last year but settled in and found the right balance between offensive firepower and stability on the defensive side of the ball that enabled them to advance to the national championship match. Junior forward Tommy Mihalic (7g, 2a), junior midfielder Patrick McDonald (2g, 2a), senior backs Joey Maher and Brett Bebej, and senior goalkeeper JT Harms are among returning starters. Indiana’s ceiling in 2023 will hinge in large part on their ability to sort out and sustain the balance on both sides of the ball that enabled them to prevail down the homestretch last year. Senior transfer back Hugo Bacharach is among the newcomers who should make an immediate impact.
Credit IU head coach Todd Yeagley with doing an excellent job of maintaining the strengths that have been the trademark of the program while making the adjustments that give the Hoosiers the best opportunity to prevail.
|The Wildcats will be missing some proven personnel from the 2022 team that won the Sun Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles and was awarded a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament but sufficient talent returns along with a promising 13 member recruiting class that includes several high profile transfers to warrant a high national ranking. Kentucky’s season ended earlier than expected last year when they were upset by Pitt at home in the Sweet Sixteen so count the Wildcats on the short list of teams that have something to prove in 2023. Junior midfielder Casper Grening (11g, 5a) returns to power the attack. Senior Andrew Erickson (0g, 1a), junior Martin Soereide (2g, 2a) and fifth-year senior Brennan Creek (0g, 4a) add stability to the midfield while sophomore back Max Miller (2g, 3a) and sophomore All-American netminder Casper Mols who had a 0.76 goals against average return to anchor the defense. Senior transfer forward Aboubacar Camara, a multi-year All-ACC selection at Louisville, and transfer graduate student midfielder Fin Ballard McBride, the 2022 Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Year and College Soccer News All-American, are among the newcomers with the potential to add a ton of firepower to the attack. Much will hinge on how well the newcomers merge in with the returning players.
|The decision of All-American forward Shakur Mohammed (10g, 2a) and All-American midfielder Peter Stroud (2g, 5a) to depart early to enter the professional ranks creates concerns in regard to offensive productivity in 2023. The departure of All-American goalkeeper Eliot Hammill, a three-year starter, also means that a new face will be between the pipes in 2023. The good news in that eight starters are slated to return along with a solid contingent of contributing player to give the Blue Devils a solid nucleus upon which to build. Midfielders senior Nick Pariano (1g, 7a) and junior Reuben Mesalles (1g, 5a) and junior forward Jai Bean (3g, 0a) look to be among returning players who John Kerr will look to for offensive punch. A big factor in Duke’s ceiling in 2023 looks to be the bump in play that the sophomore class that includes midfielder Wayne Frederick (1g, 1a) and Kenan Holt and defenders Axel Gudbjomsson (4g, 1a) and Kamran Acito (1g, 0a) get from the experience they gained last year.
|The Huskies enter the season without the services of their top four goal scorers last year who accounted for 33 of the 48 goals Washington scored. Junior forward Chris Meyers (0g, 10a) and midfielders senior Imanoi Rosales (2g, 10a), junior Kalani Kossa-Rienzi (3g, 2a), a 2022 All-Pac-12 first team selection, senior Christian Soto (4g, 0a), a 2022 All-Pac-12 First Team member, redshirt junior Gabe Threadgold (0g, 4a) and sophomore Richie Aman (1g, 2a) are among the returning players who Jamie Clark will likely count on to fill the void. Forward Bryan Iliohan, a transfer from Cal Baptist where he had 24 goals and nine assists over three seasons could prove to be a difference maker up-top. Senior Khai Brisco (0g, 1a) and junior Nate Jones (2g, 1a) are among returning backs. Senior Sam Fowler, a three-year starter, returns in goal along with junior Jadon Bowton.
|Attrition is a part of college sports. Last year the Panthers had more than the average number of voids to fill due to departures but they returned enough talent and experience to advance to the College Cup for the second season in a row. Pitt will enter the 2023 season without seven players who have entered the professional ranks and without the talent and experience on board that they had in 2022. The Panthers have earned a high preseason ranking but several players will have to emerge as contributors on both sides of the ball in order to maintain it. Senior midfielder Filip Mirkovic (12g, 3a), a three-year starter, and junior forward Luis Sahmkow $g, 3a) look to be key ingredients on the offensive side of the ball. Juniors Michael Sullivan (3g, 1a) and Guilherme Feitosa (1g, 3a) are among returning midfielders who should be in the hunt for a greater role while sophomore Jackson Gilman (0g, 3a) and junior Mateo Maillefaud (1g, 0a) are among returning defenders. Sophomore Cabral Carter is in the drivers seat to replace Joe van der Sar in goal. Look for Pitt under Jay Vidovich to improve as the season progresses. Transfers senior Felipe Mercado and graduate students Joao Souza and Nick Blacklock are among the newcomers who could make an impact.
|There is a lot to like about what is happening at UNCG under head coach Chris Rich. The Spartans are coming off arguably the best season in program history during which they were awarded the number 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. Offensive productivity has been the Spartans calling card but in order for that to continue new goal scores much emerge to replace the playmaking ability of several departing players including All-American midfielder J.C. Ngando (4g, 14a), the fifth pick overall in the 2023 MLS Draft. Sophomores Steven Hernandez (5g, 1a) and Colton Sessoms (2g, 2a) are among returning forwards. Juniors Basile Marc (2g, 3a) and Jack Birch (2g, 0a) are among returning midfielders. Emmanuel Hagen, a three-year starter and 2021 and 2022 All-Southern Conference First team member and senior Ethan Conley (1g, 1a), a four-year starter, return to anchor the backline. The loss of Niclas Wild, a three-year starter and the 2021 and 2022 Southern Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, creates a key void that must be filled between the pipes. The Spartans have to replace some talented players but as reloading projects go, this one appears promising.
|Clemson annually does a good job of bringing on board talented newcomers. The 2023 season is no exception with the addition of transfers junior midfielder Joran Gerbert, the 2022 Pac-12 Player of the Year, forward Alex Meinhard, a two-time AAC Offensive player of the Year at Tulsa, and graduate student defender Gael Gilbert, a multi-year All-Pac-12 selection. They will join a Clemson team that returns a solid core including senior midfielder Ousmane Sylla (5g, 7a), graduate student forward Mohamed Seye (4g, 6a), redshirt sophomore Adam Lundegard (2g, 1a) and sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Andema who had a 2022 goals against average of 0.75. A couple of new playmakers must emerge on defense due to the early departure of backs Hamady Diop and Joseph Skinner to enter the professional ranks.
|The Cardinal rebounded last year to return to the NCAA Tournament field after being absent in 2021. The trend line is headed upward for a Stanford team under head coach Jeremy Gunn that should be very competitive in 2023. However, while it may be an unfair comparison, they are not likely to return to the prominence the program had when they won the national championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017. That said, Stanford should have a balanced attack likely led by midfielder Shane de Flores (8g, 4a) and forwards Liam Doyle (6g, 5a) and Jackson Kill (4g, 3a) and redshirt freshman Alfonso Tenconi-Gradillas among others that when in gear will be difficult to contain. A deep midfield that includes junior Will Reilly (3g, 3a) and sophomores Will Cleary and Fletcher Bank (2g, 5a) should be a team strength. Senior defender Noah Adnan, a two-year starter, returns to anchor a defense that will require some reloading due to the departure of All-American Keegan Hughes and Keegan Tingey, a 2022 Pac-12 Second Team selection, who were four-year starters. Junior transfer defender Louis Weisdorf, a two-year starter at Dartmouth, should be in the hunt for minutes in the back.
|Replicating the 2022 16 win season and run to the Elite Eight may be difficult due to the loss of four fifth year senior starters including All-American midfielder Alex Nagy (9g,9a) and senior defender Noah Egan. However, with a nice cross section of players returning another banner season at Vermont in 2023 is not out of the question. Senior forwards Max Murray (10g, 5a) and redshirt junior Yaniv Bazini (5g, 3a) return to power the attack. Senior Daniel Pacella (2g, 2a), junior Adrian Schulze Solano (0g, 2a) are back to set the pace in the center of the park. Graduate Student Sebastian Gebhart and senior Zach Barrett are among returning defenders. Rob Dow has added several transfers with the potential to make an immediate contribution.
|There are some key gaps to fill but a solid nucleus returns along with a very promising 14 member recruiting class that includes players with very competitive international experience. Much will hinge on the ability of the staff to breed the positive team chemistry and buy in that has been a trademark of the Thundering Herd under head coach Chris Grassie. Sophomore Matthew Bell (10g, 4a), the 2022 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, returns to power the attack up top with the advantage of having a year of starting experience under his belt. Graduate Student Adam Aoumaich (2g, 9a) is among other returning players who will add punch to the attack. Junior forward Alvaro Garcia-Pascual, a transfer from Coastal Carolina, has the potential to make an immediate impact. Sophomore Ryan Holmes (2g, 1a) and senior Taimu Oklyoshi (2g, 1a) are among returning midfielders who should play key roles in 2023. Transfers sophomore Alex Stjerngaard, the MAAC Rookie of the Year, and junior Aymane Sordo from Gardner Webb should be in the hunt for minutes in the midfield. Senior Morris Duggan, junior Mohammed Seidu, redshirt junior Adam Lubell and junior Alex Bamford are among a solid group of returning backs. The departure of Oliver Semmle leaves a big void to fill in goal that may be filled by transfer Gabriel Perrotta.
|The Bluejays got hot at the right time of the year and played their way into the College Cup washing away what had been an underachieving season up to that point. It is not likely that any team in the country has a bigger hole to fill in 2023 than Creighton has due to the loss of the big play ability that All-American forward and MAC Hermann Award winner Duncan McGuire (23g, 4a) provided. Yet there’s still plenty to like about the 2023 Bluejay team that returns graduate student forward Dominic Briggs (0g, 4a), junior midfielders Jackson Castro (10g, 8a), Giorgio Probo (5g, 14a) and Mark O’Neill (4g, 0a), senior defender Luke Mitchell (0g, 1a), junior Miguel Ventura (0g, 5a) and sophomore Ben Foulks. Junior transfers Omar Ramadan from DePaul and Lucio Berron from Coastal Carolina are among the newcomers who should contribute. The departure of veteran goalkeeper Paul Krause means that Creighton will also have a new face in goal. It will be interesting to see if the Bluejays can maintain the momentum that they had during post season play last year. What we do know is that it is a good thing for college soccer in general when Creighton matters.
|The Pilots are coming off a banner 2022 season during which they had 15 wins and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995. Portland head coach Nick Carlin-Voigt had to say goodbye to several starters including All-American midfielder Brandon Cambridge (12g, 7a) who departed early to enter the professional ranks. Regardless Portland could be even better this year with junior forward Jacob Babalai (8g, 4a), junior attacking midfielder Sebastian Nava (4g, 10a), redshirt senior midfielder NIck Fernandez (1g, 7a), sophomore midfielder Muslim Umar (4g, 2a), junior defender Kevin Bonilla (1g, 2a) and senior defender Nicholas Denley (1g, 3a) among a solid foundation of returning players. The Pilots have added a large recruiting class that includes six transfers. Several of the newcomers will need to make an immediate contribution in order for Portland to have a chance to build on the success the program had last year.
|Kyle Russel enters his fourth season at FIU with a roster that has plenty of talent despite the departure of All-American forward Stephen Afrifa and center backs David Garcia and Carlos Scheckermann. Russel strengthened the roster via the addition of several experienced and talented players. Senior captain Bernardo Dos Santos Monteiro (6g, 3a) and fifth-year senior Paulo Alves (2g, 4a) return up top. Fifth-year senior Yushi Nagao (3g, 6a), senior Matthias Lavenant, junior captain Julian Hodek (1g, 5a), and sophomore Joao Domingues (2g, 2a) are among returning midfielders. The Panthers have also added transfer center midfielders Tim Schels, a three-year starter at North Carolina, and junior Diego Castillo, a two-year starter at Utah Valley. Junior captain Edgar Aguilar and fifth-year senior Philip Hildebrandt are among returning backs. Transfer defenders Owen Travis from UAB, Kasper Skraep from Oregon State and Adrian Barosen from Missouri State are positive additions who joined the program in the spring. Fifth-year senior Tyler Hogan who missed the 2022 season due to injury returns in goal.
|Despite a 14 win season, Wake Forest didn’t have the type of season they hoped for last year in large part due to an unexpected loss at home in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Eliminate the lapses in play that hampered Wake Forest last year and the sky is the limit in 2023. Players who were responsible for 39 of the 42 goals last year return. Junior Roald Mitchell (7g, 4a), a 2022 All-ACC Second Team member returns to power the attack up top along with junior Babacar Niang (4g, 2a), a 2022 All-ACC Third Team member. A very deep contingent of midfielders are slated to return along with a loaded backline that includes senior center backs and three-year starters Garrison Tubbs and Prince Amponsah, senior Jahlane Forbes, a two-year starter, and sophomore Vlad Walent. Junior Trace Alphin, a battle tested two-year starter, returns to anchor the defense in goal. Balance and a hard-nosed defense look to be the keys.
|The Cavaliers awoke from a two year slumber last year with a double digit win season to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament after rare absences in 2020 and 2021. Virginia should be even better in 2023 with the return of a talented group of players on both sides of the ball supplemented by a recruiting class that includes several experienced transfers like senior midfielder Mouhameth Thiam, an All-Pac-12 First Team selection from Oregon State, who should fit right in. Seniors Leo Afonso (7g, 4a), a 2022 All-ACC First Team selection, and Daniel Mangarov (3g, 4a) are among returning forwards. Seniors Axel Ahlander (0g, 2a) and Jeremy Verley (0g, 1a) and sophomore Albin Gashi (1g, 2a) return in the midfield. Senior Aidan O’Connor (1g, 0a), junior Paul Wiese (0g, 3a) and sophomore Reese Miller (2g, 1a) return in the back while senior Holden Brown, a two-year starter, will anchor the defense in goal. Virginia reestablished last year that they were capable of winning big games. Whether they have what it takes to do so on a more consistent basis in 2023 is the unanswered question.
|The Terps have some big shoes to fill but the cupboard is never bare at Maryland under Sasho Cirovski. Maryland’s ceiling in 2023 will hinge in large part on their ability to fill the void that exists due to departure of players who scored 21 of their 39 goals last year. Senior forward Stefan Copetti (6g, 3a) and sophomore forward Colin Griffith (3g, 1a) return up-top. Graduate Student Justin Harris (2g, 0a), redshirt junior Joe Suchecki (1g, 0a) and sophomore Albi Ndrenika (2g, 0a) are among returning midfielders. Senior Alex Nitzl (0g, 4a), a three-year starter, junior William Kulvik (2g, 0a), a two-year starter, sophomore Luca Costabile, a 2022 Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection, are among returning defenders. The addition of graduate student transfer center back Bjarne Thiesen, a three-year starter at West Virginia, is big plus. Senior Jamie Lowell looks to be the likely replacement in goal due to the departure of Niklas Neumann who was a three-year starter. The Terps will be competitive. Just how competitive depends on how quickly they mature as a team. Accordingly, this ranking is more likely a floor than a ceiling for Maryland in 2023.
|Redshirt sophomore Ian Smith (4g, 3a), a 2022 All-Summit League Second Team selection, junior midfielder Sam Bassett (7g, 6a), a 2022 All-Summit League Second Team member, and sophomore midfielder Holger Olsson (6g, 2a) are among returning players who should power the attack. Senior captain Ben Smith (2g, 0a), the 2022 Summit League Midfielder of the Year and three-year starter, and graduate student Aidan O’Toole (1g, 4a), a four-year starter, return to add stability and set the pace in the midfield. Senior Lukas Fisher (3g, 4a), redshirt sophomore Jake Smith, and sophomore David Biggers (0g, 1a) round out a deep midfield. Senior outside back Ronan Wynne (1g, 6a), the 2022 Summit League Defender of the Year, returns to anchor the backline along with All-Summit League First Team junior center backs Trevor Wright (3g, 2a) and Jason Belloli (3g, 2a). Sophomore Isaac Nehme, the 2022 Summit League Freshman of the Year and All-West Region First Team selection with a 0,72 goals against average and ten solo shutouts returns between the pipes to anchor what should be a very solid defense.
|Tulsa will be without the big play ability of forward Alex Meinhard (10g, 5a) and the stability that All-American back Mariano Fazio provided on the defensive side of the ball but you can bet the farm that the Golden Hurricane will have plenty of staying power under head coach Tom McIntosh. With seven starters slated to return and non-conference games at home against Missouri State and Creighton and AAC games at home against South Florida, SMU and FIU, the opportunity exists for another successful season in 2023. Senior forward Malik Henry-Scott (6g, 2a), senior midfielders Sergio Baena (3g, 5a), Luke Jeffus (1g, 4a) and Alvaro Torrijos (1g, 3a), sophomore defender Wes Bottenburg (2g, 0a) and Junior Alex Lopez, the 2022 AAC Goalkeeper of the Year, are among a solid contingent of returning players.
|Eight starters and a lot of players who saw significant minutes return for what is now an experienced, talented and deep Georgetown team that will benefit from the year of playing time many gained last year. Senior goalkeeper Ryan Schewe, a 2022 All-Big East Second Team selection, returns to give the Hoyas a talented and composed presence in goal. Senior captain Kenny Nielson (1g, 1a), a three-year starter, juniors Kieran Sargeant (1g, 5a) and Maximus Jennings, and sophomore captain Diego Letayf return to give the Hoyas what should be a stout defense. Sophomore forwards Jacob Murrell (7g, 4a) and senior Marlon Tabora (5g, 7a), a 2022 All-Big East Second Team member, senior midfielder Kyle Linhares (1g, 6a), and junior midfielder Blaine Mabie (2g, 1a) are among returning players who will add pop to the attack. Consistency of play on both sides of the ball has been a part of Georgetown’s calling card under Brian Wiese. The Hoyas are a difficult team to top when they are able to settle into a rhythm of play and control the the tempo of a game.
|Akron will begin play as an affiliate member of the Big East Conference in men’s soccer in 2023 after many seasons in the Mid American Conference. Senior Jason Shokalook (9g, 6a), a 2022 All-MAC First Team selection, returns to power the attack up top. All-American junior Dyson Clapier (7g, 7a) returns to set the pace in the midfield along with junior Malik Henry (0g, 1a), senior Johnny Fitzgerald (4g, 1a) and junior Wan Kuzri Wan Kamal (1g, 7a). The backline anchored by senior captain and four-year starter Will Jackson (3g, 4a), junior Jonas Buechte, a two-year starter, senior Joel Sangwa, and sophomore Ashton Kamden (3g, 5a) will be solid and deep. Redshirt sophomore Mitch Budler, a 2022 College Soccer News National All-Freshman Team selection, returns to provide a solid presence in goal. Look for Akron to be highly motivated to establish that they can more than hold their own in the Big East. It should be an interesting year for the Zips.
|The Big Red under head coach John Smith is coming off a 14 win 2022 season and their fourth consecutive ten win season. Sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Friedberg, the 2022 Ivy League Freshman of the Year, returns to anchor what should be a very solid Big Red defense. Senior Connor Drought (3g, 8a), a 2022 All-Ivy First Team selection, returns in the back along with seniors Kisa Kiingi (6g, 4a) and Cam Maquat and sophomore Andrew Johnson (0g, 2a). Junior Danny Lokko (3g, 1a) returns up top while senior Lalo Serrano (0g, 2a), a 2022 All-Ivy Second Team selection will set the pace in the midfield. Offensive productivity was a factor in Cornell’s success last year but is a potential concern in 2023 due to the departure of All-American forward Emeka Eneli (4g, 7a) and All-Ivy League First Team midfielder Brandon Morales (8g, 8a). The answer may be provided by a couple of the newcomers.
|Don’t overlook Western Michigan. The Broncos are coming off a stellar 2022 season during which they recorded 16 wins, won the MAC Championship, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. They move from the MAC to the MVC in 2023 with their sights set on building upon the success they had last year. Graduate Students Charlie Sharp (11g, 8a) and Dylan Sing (6g, 7a) give Western Michigan a productive one-two punch up top. Sophomores Carson Hodgson (0g, 4a), a 2022 College Soccer News National All-Freshman Team selection and the MAC Freshman of the Year, and Tanner Hodgson (0g, 4a) are among returning midfielders. The Broncos ceiling will be impacted by their ability to replace All-American center back Daniel Nimick, outside back Matt Lockwood and highly regarded goalkeeper Hunter Morse. The good news is that graduate student center back Jaylen Shannon and outside left back redshirt junior Jonathan Robinson (2g, 5a) return to give the Broncos an experienced nucleus upon which to reload. Bronco head coach Chad Wiseman has added seasoned graduate student defenders Will Perkins and Nick Stone from Michigan State, Amin Fernouchi from Lindsey Wilson College, and midfielder Tom Cooklin from George Washington.
|SMU has to replace the big play ability of All-American midfielder Knut Ahlander (12g, 5a) but pretty much everyone else returns to give Kevin Hudson a log of talent to work with. Sophomores Alexander Petraeus (4g, 10a), the AAC Rookie of the Year, and Fredrik Skilberg (7g, 2a) will add firepower up top. The addition of transfer graduate student forward Jelldrik Dallman, the 2022 ASUN Player of the Year, is a big plus on the offensive side of the ball. Junior J.P. Jordan (1g, 1a) is among a solid group of returning midfielders. Juniors Mads Westergren and Kyran Chambron Piho and sophomore Owen Zarnick return in the back. SMU is the third team from the nine member AAC that is ranked in the preseason top 25. Upward movement in conference play and in national standing will depend on continued improvement on both side of the ball.
|Despite the loss of several influential players, the Bisons return an impressive core from the 2022 team that had a program best 14 wins, was nationally ranked, and earned the number nine seed in the NCAA Tournament. Lipscomb under head coach Charles Morrow may experience a learning curve but a step backward is not likely. Graduate Student Hayes Wood (8g, 3a), senior Tyrese Spicer (4g, 7a), and sophomore Malachi Jones (7g, 3a) should soar on offense. Seniors Luca Naumann (1g, 2a), Adam McAleenan (0g, 1a) and Ploutarchos Alonefti (0g, 1a) are among returning midfielders. Redshirt sophomore Nick Dang returns to anchor a backline that will require loading that will be facilitated by the addition of several experienced transfers.
|The Quakers exceeded expectations in 2022 with a 13 win season during which they won the Ivy League title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Defender defender Jack Rosener and midfielder Ben Stitz (11g. 8a), three-year starters, will not be easy to replace but a solid core does return on both sides of the ball. Senior Nick Christoffersen, a 2022 All-Ivy League second team selection with a 0.77 goals against average, returns in goal. Junior Leo Burney (5g, 2a), the 2022 Ivy League Defender of the Year, and junior Ben Do (1g, 3a) return to anchor the backline. Senior Michael Hewes (6g, 1a) and juniors Charlie Gaffney (1g, 7a) and Aaron Messer (1g, 1a) are among returning midfielders. Junior Stas Korzeniowski (11g, 7a), the 2022 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, gives Penn an explosive presence up-top. Balance and team chemistry look to be strengths for the Quakers under head coach Brian Gill.
|The Bruins are coming off a 12 win season in which they earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Redshirt junior forwards Jose Contell (4g, 3a) and senior Andre Ochoa (3g, 2a) and redshirt junior midfielder Tucker Lepley (3g, 1a) are among returning players who should add punch to the attack. Senior Tommy Silva (1g, 8a), an All-Pac-12 Second Team selection, junior Pietro Grassi and senior Grayson Doody are among returning defenders. UCLA head coach Ryan Jorden hit the recruiting trail and portal hard adding an 11 member class that includes five Division I transfers with the potential to add stability as well as an exciting group of young players. Graduate Student midfielder Ryan Becher (13g, 10a), a transfer from UMBC with 25 career goals and 20 career assists, and graduate student forward Jack Sarkos (8g, 2a), a two-time All-Patriot League League First Team selection with 17 career goals and four career assists, are among the new additions who should figure in the mix.
|A New Hampshire team that is coming off a 15 win season earns a spot in the preseason ranks despite the fact that the Wildcats enter the season with a lot of departures to address. Marc Hubbard has fortified his roster with the addition of a 15 member recruiting class that includes a good number of experienced graduate students like defenders Cameron Briggs from Creighton, midfielders Atila Ashrafi from St. John’s and Inaki Rodriguez from Michigan, and forwards Georgios Koliniatis from Rollins College and Nick Awada from Bryant University. Effective roster management on the part of Hubbard has normalized the talent level at New Hampshire and enabled the Wildcats to annually fill any gaps that exist with qualified team oriented players. Graduate Students forward Eli Goldman (9g, 1a), a First Team All-America East selection, midfielder Bilal Kamal (5g, 3a), defender Liam Bennett (0g, 2a) and senior All-American midfielder Yannick Bright (2g, 1a) are among the returning starters who provide continuity to a team whose ceiling in 2023 will be determined in large part by the ability of the coaching staff to seamlessly merge the newcomers in with returning players. The potential exists for New Hampshire to rocket upward in the rankings.
|The Billikens return six starters and a good number of players who are ready and eager to assume a greater role in 2023. Kevin Kalish has added a promising recruiting class that includes some players who will make an immediate impact and some that will grow into greater roles. The biggest shoes to fill are those of midfielder John Klein and center back Alberto Suarez. Fifth-year transfer Diego Konicks from Campbell looks to be a good fit to slot into the vacant center back role. Redshirt sophomore Max Floriani (0g, 4a), a 2022 A-10 All-Rookie Team selection, and junior Grady Easton (2g, 0a) are among returning backs. Redshirt senior Christian Buendia, a 2022 A-10 First Team selection and three-year starter, and juniors Brian Johnson and Mads Stistrup Petersen (3g, 3a) are among a solid group of returning midfielders. Sophomore C.J. Coppola (6g, 1a), a 2022 A-10 Rookie Team selection, with the advantage of a year of starting experience should contribute big play ability up top.
|The Buckeyes have momentum. Nine starters are back from the breakthrough 2022 team that won 11 games, returned to the NCAA Tournament field for the first time since 2015, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Senior Laurence Wootten (5g, 2a), the 2022 Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and impact player since arriving in Columbus as a freshman, and junior midfielder Anthony Samways (2g, 7a), a 2022 All-Big Ten Second Team selection, return to set the pace. Graduate Student Brayden Durbin (2g, 1a), senior Parker Grinstead (4g, 2a), and sophomore Luciano Pechota (2g, 4a), a 2022 Big Ten Freshman Team selection, are among other returning midfielders. Sophomore forward Tanner Creech (1g, 1a), a 2022 Big Team Freshman Team member, returns up top with the advantage of a year of playing experience under his belt. A veteran Buckeye backline will include seniors Deylen Vellios (0g, 2a) and Thomas Gilej (1g, 0a), redshirt senior Owen Sullivan (1g, 0a) and junior Nathan Demian (1g, 0a). The departure of Keagan McLaughlin, the 2022 Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year, creates an unanswered question in goal.
Others Receiving Votes: Missouri State, Hofstra, Campbell, South Florida, High Point, California Baptist, West Virginia, Mercer, Dayton