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Marquette 2014 Team and Recruiting Class Review

School – Marquette
Conference – Big East 
Coach – Louis Bennett (9th Season)
Background – Louis Bennett became the head coach at Marquette in 2006 with the daunting challenge of making the program a contender in the Big East Conference and a factor on the national scene.  Although the Golden Eagles improved yearly under Bennet's direction the desired transformation wasn't achieved overnight but it did happen. In 2012 Marquette was 16-4-1 overall with a 5-2-1 mark in conference play, they returned to the NCAA tournament field for the first time since the 1997 season, and they were awarded the number seven seed in the NCAA tourney. In 2013 Marquette took another step up the ladder with a 13-6-2 overall record and a 6-2-1 mark in conference play.  They won a share of the Big East regular season title and won their first ever Big East tournament championship.  The Golden Eagles were awarded the number nine seed in the NCAA tournament and topped Akron 1-0 to secure their first ever win in the NCAA tournament.  The 2013 season came to an end for Marquette when they were defeated by Virginia 3-1 in the Sweet Sixteen. Marquette was ranked as the number twelve team in the country at the conclusion of the 2013 season by College Soccer News and the NSCAA. Bryan Ciesiulka ended a solid four year tenure at Marquette by being named the 2013 Big East Co-Midfielder of the Year.  Charlie Lyon was named the Big East Co-Goal Keeper of the Year. Ciesiulka and Lyon were also named Big East First Team selections as were teammates forward C. Nortey and defender Axel Sjoberg. Midfielder Louis Bennett II and forward Coco Navarro were named to the Big East All-Rookie Team.   
Offense – The Golden Eagles return three of their top four goal scorers from the 2013 season.  Key departures due to graduation from an offensive point of view include midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka who had nine career goals and seventeen assits, forward Adam Lysak (4g, 3a) who played in twenty contests last year with five starts, and left back Paul Dillon (1g, 7a) who had sixteen career assists and led the team in that category in 2013. Redshirt junior forward C. Nortey (10g, 2a) who is among the most productive goal scorers in Marquette history returns to power the attack up top. Sophomore forward Coco Navarro (3g, 5a) and sophomore midfielder Louis Bennett II (4g, 5a) also return to provide additional punch on the offensive side of the ball.  Both Navarro and Bennett entered the 2013 season as highly regarded freshman and both more than lived up to expectations. Six-foot seven junior center back Axel Sjoberg (2g, 3a) adds yet another element to the offense out of set pieces.  Senior forward Kelmend Islami (0g, 5a), senior midfielder Brady Wahl and senior midfielder Sebastian Jansson (2g, 1a) are among other returning players who should play key roles in 2014. Redshirt junior forward David Selvaggi who transferred to Marquette from DePaul last year but had to redshirt the 2013 season due to Big East transfer rules has the potential to add another dimension to the Marquette offense in 2014.  Redshirt freshmen midfielders Daniel Szczepanek, Alex McBride and Driton Zyteja are among other returning players who will seek to make an impact in 2014.  Graduate student midfielder Luis Trude who played three seasons at William Carey University where he was an NAIA First Team All-Amerian last year is a playmaker who should contribute immediately.  Freshman midfielder Martin Alba out of the Chicago Fire Acadey is among other members of the recruiting class who will likely compete for playing time right away.  
Defense – The Golden Eagles will enter the 2014 season without the services of backs Paul Dillon and Eric Pothast who have graduated.  Redshirt junior center back Axel Sjoberg returns to anchor the backline.  He will likely be joined at cener back by redshirt sophomore John Pothast who had an outstanding season in 2012 as a freshman before taking a redshirt in 2013.  Junior Adam Hermsen who saw action in twenty-one contests last year with thirteen starts and highly regarded sophomore Jake Taylor (2g, 2a) who participated in eighteen games last year should also play key roles on the defensive side of the ball.  Redshirt sophomore Patrick Schulz and redshirt freshman Jack Alberts are among other returning players who will seek to play a greater role in 2014.  Redshirt senior Charlie Lyon, who recorded ten shutouts last year with a 0.91 goals against average, returns to provide team leadership and a talented prescence between the pipes for Marquette in 2014.  Lyon has played a key role in the success that the program achieved in both 2012 and 2013.  Lack of depth on the defensive side of the ball has caused problems for Marquette at times in the past.  The potential exists for that to be a concern in 2014 should be Golden Eagles experience injuries.   

Newcomers – Three and A Half Star Star Recruiting Class   

Coach Bennett stated, "This recruiting class definitely amplifies the fact of the caliber and quality of not only the player, but more importantly, the team as a whole.  We are definitely pleased to have that attention."

Note – Forward Andrija Novakovich from Muskego, Wisconsin who was ranked by College Soccer News as the number eight player in the class of 2014 initially indicated he was going to attend Marquette but then signed a professional contract with Reading FC of the English Football League.  

Danny Jarosz – Defender – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Marquette University High School – Played with the Bavarian Soccer Club.  2013 NSCAA All-Region selection.  2013 First Team All-State.  2013 First-Team Greater Metro Conference. 

Colin Koerber – Defender – Sussex, Wisconsin – Arrowhead High School – 2013 WSCA All-State First Team selection.  NSAA All-Region selection.  2013 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel First-Team All-Area. Played for WC Waukesha

Martin Alba – Midfielder – Chicago, Illinois – Played for the Chicago Fire U-18 Academy. Ranked by College Soccer News as the number 81 player in the class of 2014.

Brian Fletcher – Defender – O'Fallon, Missouri – St. Louis University High School – St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club.  

Jesper Larsson – Midfielder – Halmstad, Sweden – Trained with Falkenberg of the Allsvenskan League – Will not join team until January 2015.

Luis Trude – Midfielder – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Instituto Paralelo – Graduate student who played three seasons at William Carey University.  NAIA First Team All-Amerian. Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year.      

Prognosis for 2014 – A solid core of eight starters return from the 2013 team along with redshirt sophomore defender John Pothast who started every match at central defender in 2012 but took a redshirt in 2013. The Golden Eagles have star power on offense and should be stout on defense.  The bottom line is that Marquette appears to have the pieces on board to continue to build on the success that they have enjoyed over the past two seasons. C. Nortey and Coco Navarro are explosive finishers.  Louis Bennett II and Brady Wahl provide a very solid necleus around which to build the midfield. Axel Sjoberg and John Pothast are talented and tough center backs.  Charlie Lyon is among the top returning goalkeepers in the country.  Center midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka brought a lot of tangibles and intangibles to the pitch during his tenure at Marquette and will clearly be missed.  The additional of graduate student Luis Trude who is an experienced playmaker may prove to be just what the doctor ordered and could help fill that void.   The Golden Eagles have achieved several significant program milestones over the past two seasons but they have underachieved in NCAA tournanment play. The next milestone would be a solid run in the NCAA tournament. If everything falls into place that is a very real possibility in 2014. Bennett will not have to wait long to get a feel for just how competitive his team will be in 2014 since Marquette opens the season in Bloomington with contests against Notre Dame and Indiana.    


Posted in 2014 Team Reviews

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