|School – Navy|
|Conference – Patriot League|
|Coach – Dave Brandt (6th Season)|
Background –The Midshipmen took a colossal step forward last year, finishing 16-4-2 and winning an NCAA tournament game for the first time in 42 years. After three consecutive seven-win seasons, the breakout campaign was one of the most surprising stories of 2013. A six-time Division III national champion at Messiah, coach Dave Brandt spent his first four years in Annapolis stabilizing a program that had gone 37-64-17 the previous seven seasons. It all came together in Year 5, as he reaped the rewards of a full recruiting cycle to post the team’s best season since the 1960s when it was a College Cup regular under coach Glenn Warner. Navy actually stumbled out of the gate to a 1-3-2 start but then reeled off 15 wins in a row before Wake Forest ended the dream season in the second round of the NCAA tourney. The team outscored its opposition 29-4 during its winning streak, with 11 shutouts. In Patriot League play, Navy went 9-0 and topped Bucknell and Holy Cross to take the postseason tournament title. The Midshipmen then validated their stretch of dominance by going on the road and defeating a quality VCU team, 3-0, in the NCAA tournament. Defender Joe Greenspan earned College Soccer News and NSCAA All-American honors as the leader of a defensive unit that allowed 0.70 goals per game. He was also the Patriot League Defender of the Year, while forward Jamie Dubyoski took home of the Offensive Player of the Year award. Midfielder Martin Sanchez and defender Derek Vogel joined Greenspan and Dubyoski on the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic team.
Offense – Navy’s No. 1 threat will once again be junior forward Jamie Dubyoski (10g, 3a). The feisty 5-foot-7, 170-pound striker burst onto the scene last fall after registering just one goal and one assist as a freshman. He will be supported by a trio of attacking midfielders in Brandt’s 4-2-3-1 formation. Sophomore Sam Bascom (1g, 1a) has the inside track on the left wing position while junior Thomas Shiiba (1g, 1a) is the likely starting right winger. The center attacking midfielder position is a battle between senior Geoff Fries (3g, 1a) and sophomore Alex Evans (3g, 3a). The Midshipmen also get a lot of scoring punch from their defense, with center back Joe Greenspan contributing seven goals a year ago. Greenspan’s center back partner Derek Vogel and left back Grant Valenstein each added two goals and three assists in 2013.
Defense – Brandt lost holding midfielders Martin Sanchez (2g, 10a) and Guy Skord (1a) to graduation, so he’s eyeing a four-way battle between junior P.J. Suess, sophomores Daniel Camuti and Matt Saunders, and true freshman Brock Dudley for the two spots. Camuti and Saunders both played regularly as freshmen a year ago, but neither registered a point. Dudley is a Texas native who captained the high-powered Solar Chelsea club team for two years and could be an impact player in his first year in Annapolis. Suess saw action in 14 games last season, and he’s also in the mix for the starting right back job along with Fries and junior Michael Parker. Valenstein will move to left back after playing primarily in the midfield his first three years, but the heart and soul of the defense is the center back duo of Greenspan and Vogel. The pair of All-Patriot League first-team picks will be all the more important this fall as goalkeepers Gavin Snyder and Aaron Dupere both graduated, leaving a question mark between the pipes. Junior Jackson Morgan will look to hold off true freshmen Mac Burke and Quinn Marshall for the starting job.
Newcomers – Three and A Half Star Recruiting Class
Coach Brandt stated: “This is a group of guys who are good players and fit what we do in terms of our playing style and who we are as a program. All 10 have significant high-level playing experience and are the right guys for what we need on and off the field.”
Mac Burke – Goalkeeper – La Plata, Md. – All-Met and All-WCAC honoree at DeMatha Catholic. Three-time WCAC champ and 2011 NSCAA co-national champ with 20-0 record at DeMatha. Played club soccer with the Olney Rangers.
Matthew Crider – Defender – Forest, Va. – Recorded 24 goals and 14 assists for Jefferson Forest High in past two seasons. Helped team to 2011 state championship with 24-0 record.Played club soccer for Richmond Kickers SC.
Brock Dudley – Midfielder – Plano, Texas – Started 62 games and scored 17 goals for Solar Chelsea SC club team the past two seasons. Team captain for Solar and helped team to Academy playoffs both seasons.
Aubrey Jones – Forward – Greenville, S.C. – Recorded 14 goals and 19 assists in an All-State senior season at J.L. Mann High. Helped team to two state championship games, winning it all in 2012.Played club soccer for CESA Premier.
Quinn Marshall – Goalkeeper – Hillsboro, Ore. – Two-time captain and team MVP at Century High. Helped club team Westside Timbers win 2011 U.S. Club Soccer national title.
Thomas Moore – Defender – Loveland, Ohio – All-State honoree as a senior at Milford High.Played club soccer for Cincinnati United Premier.
Morgen Richards – Midfielder – Mableton, Ga. – Team captain as a senior at Campbell High. Played club soccer for Concorde Fire.
Ryan Savitt – Midfielder – Encino, Calif. – Helped Loyola High to 2014 CIF Southern Section Division I title with a 32-0-6 record. Played club soccer for Real So Cal.
Dylan Struthers – Defender – San Clemente, Calif. – Helped San Clemente High to 2013 CIF Southern Section Division I title with a 34-3-1 record. Helped club team West Coast FC to USYS U-17 national title in 2013.
Daniel Zaremba – Forward – Aiken, S.C. – Notched 31 goals and 22 assists in an All-State junior season at South Aiken High. Played club soccer for South Carolina United Battery Academy
|Prognosis for 2014 –Coming off a record season like Navy enjoyed in 2013, the natural inclination is to take the foot off the gas and backslide a little the following year. But Brandt doesn’t plan on allowing that to happen. “We haven’t hit our ceiling yet,” the coach says. “The message in the preseason will be, ‘We were good last year, but we can be even better this year.’” Though the team does lose about half its starting lineup from a year ago, it returns the Patriot League Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year as well as six others who logged at least 800 minutes in 2013. The schedule takes a step up in 2014, highlighted by a visit from Maryland in early September. The Midshipmen will also travel to Colorado to take on Air Force and Denver in addition to non-conference games against George Washington and UMBC. Navy will be heavy favorites to repeat as Patriot League champs this fall, but the true barometer will be if it can build on last year’s NCAA tournament victory and make an even deeper run this time around. With Greenspan and Vogel, the defense should be solid. The key will be developing a second goal-scoring threat so opposing defenses can’t load up on Dubyoski. If the Midshipmen accomplish that, they could be playing into December for the first time since 1965.|