Men's Soccer Ready to Reload in 2014
Aug 22, 2014
EASTON, Pa. – Head coach Dennis Bohn has his troops ready as the Lafayette men’s soccer team prepares to open its 2014 season in seven short days. The Leopards aim to improve upon a 4-6-8 2013 campaign and turn some of those one-point draws into three-point wins.
“We’re really counting on our experienced guys to raise their play this season, especially offensively,” Bohn said. “We believe we have guys in the program that can get us to where we want to be and score goals when we need them. Now it’s just a matter of translating those abilities into game situations.”
Lafayette’s eight ties a year ago were second-most in the nation behind South Florida. The 4-6-8 record was the first losing season for the Leopards in Bohn’s 13-year tenure and the Maroon and White are working hard to buck that trend.
“We need to be able to perform in crunch time this season,” Bohn added. “The program has always been able to find a goal or make a play when it mattered most and we were missing that last season. Instilling that playmaking mindset down the stretch is definitely a priority for us this fall.”
Below is a position-by-position breakdown of the 2014 edition of Lafayette men’s soccer.
Replacing graduated Nathan McDonald is no easy task, but senior Alexander Leavy has taken the starting role with determination, coming off an injury a year ago. Leavy started four games during his sophomore campaign, going 0-3-1, including a 12-save effort in a draw with La Salle.
“Leavy is finally fully healthy after spending the past year recovering from injury,” Bohn said. “He’s had a great offseason and a solid camp and we look forward to his contributions in goal.”
Behind Leavy, returning keepers senior David Root and junior Joe Canfield have another offseason under their belts and will compete with newcomers Brad Seeber and Brian Ehrlich for the backup spots.
Senior Julian Plummer mans the back line for the final time this season. Plummer, named to the Preseason All-Patriot League team, has been a rock in defense all four years with Leopards, starting all 57 games during his time on College Hill. A Second-Team All-Patriot League performer a year ago, he was the anchor of a unit that recorded eight shutouts and allowed just 14 goals in 18 games.
Joining Plummer on the defensive unit will be returning defender Ryan Dodds, who started all 18 games a year ago and recorded a goal and an assist for the Maroon and White. Additionally, freshman Christian Moyse has impressed the staff in camp and will have the opportunity to win a starting spot this season.
Juniors Nate Arronson and Eric West, sophomores Dante Piccolo and Campbell Weyland, and freshmen Josh Golob and Matthew Dicker will also compete for playing time throughout the year.
Fifth-year senior Alec Golini and sophomore Ryan Egan lead a midfield group that will need to be aggressive offensively this fall. Golini was a First-Team All-Patriot League performer in 2012 and played in all 18 games, making 14 starts in 2013. The Lumberton, N.J. native was tied for second on the team in points with four, including one goal and two assists.
Egan will be asked to step up his game on both ends of the field this season, coming off a year in which he saw action in all 18 games and recorded one assist.
Joining Egan and Golini are returning senior Chandler Fraser-Pauls, junior Todd Forrester, and sophomores Ben Marks and Andrew Gonzalez. Freshman Daniel Felman has been impressive and will have a chance to earn a starting role, while fellow newcomer Wyatt Fabian will also fight for minutes this season.
With eight ties a season ago and only 10 goals scored in 18 games played, the attack group is arguably the most important to Lafayette’s success this season. The Leopards will look to two juniors and a senior to be their main source of offense, along with Egan and Golini in the midfield.
Senior Greg Biggiani is fully healthy after playing in 16 games a year ago, while juniors Tom McCutcheon and Quentin Anson are back and ready to go for their third year on College Hill. McCutcheon leads the returners, coming off a one-goal, one-assist season in 2013, while Biggiani put 10 shots on goal during his campaign last year.
“We have a lot of talented guys that have not had the opportunity to meet their full potential due to health issues,” Bohn said. “We’re excited to have all of our guys back and fully healthy, and we believe they are finally in the right place to play both physically and mentally smart.”
Joining the trio up front will be junior Michael Bloom and sophomore Chuka Anyafo. Anyafo recorded one goal in 12 games during his initial season in the Maroon and White.
Lafayette opens up its 2014 slate on Aug. 29, hosting Saint Peter’s at Oaks Field at 7 p.m. The Leopards begin league play on Sept. 27 against Colgate in Easton at 1 p.m.