DMV NCAA Soccer: 2017 Review and 2018 Preview

NCAA DMV Soccer Schedule

It was an exciting college soccer season in 2017 here in the DMV, with plenty to be excited about heading into next year. We’ll also have a new Division I program, Mount Saint Mary’s, competing in the DMV in Fall of 2018.

DMV Tournament Teams

University of Maryland was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when they lost in PK’s to a tough University of Albany team, behind an outstanding performance by Albany goalkeeper Danny Vitiello.

There is little doubt that Coach Sasho Cirovski and his squad will be looking to come back stronger next season, and make a return to the College Cup. Graduating seniors include starters Jake Rozhansky and George Campbell, but the good news is that the Terps will be coming into next season with another year of experience under their belts, using the devastating tourney loss at home as motivation. The team is stacked with juniors like Eryk Williamson, Sebastian Elney, Amar Sejdic, Gordon Wild, the list goes on. Donovan Pines and Dayne St Clair will come back even stronger, and the Terps have a pretty decent recruiting class coming in which includes locals Justin Gielen (a dynamic forward from DeMatha who has professional ambitions), as well as defenders Nick Richardson who has been in the u-17 National Team mix and won last year’s Gatorade National Player of the Year…as only a junior…as well as defender Brett Saint Martin, who was voted All-State, All-American, All-Everything. All three players are on Coach Barry Stitz‘s Baltimore Celtic 2000 team, who compete at every level and are one of the best teams in the country.

Georgetown had another successful season under head coach Brian Wiese, winning the Big East Championship and earning a first-round NCAA Tournament bye. The Hoyas lost a heart-breaker at home to SMU in the NCAA tourney with only FOURTEEN seconds left in double overtime, but have an extremely young roster more than capable of returning to national prominence next season, highlighted by Junior standout goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, who was outstanding all season for the Hoyas and seems destined to be a big-time professional goalkeeper once his playing days are over with Georgetown.

VCU was this season’s DMV Cinderella story, beating Maryland at Maryland 3-0 in the regular season, beating Rhode Island twice, and earning a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament. It was the third NCAA Tournament appearance under 8th-year head coach Dave Giffard, who continues to establish himself as one of the top NCAA Soccer coaches in the country, looking to continue to build the Rams into national contention again next season.

 

UVA finished the season in the Top 10 in National rankings and will likely come back strong next year like they always do, earning a first-round bye in this year’s NCAA Tournament and finishing the season with a 12-4-5 record in a very tough ACC Conference. The Cavaliers finished with a 12-3-5 record, losing only 3 games despite being ranked number 9 nationally in the NCAA RPI Rankings. The Cavaliers’ Head Coach George Gelnovatch will enter his 23rd season in 2018, and 2017 was his TWENTY SECOND straight NCAA Tournament appearance, an NCAA record.

ODU won Conference USA, won their first-round NCAA Tournament game against NC State, and have a young nucleus in place highlighted by freshman standout midfielder Brandon Purdue. The Monarchs finished with a 13-6-2 record, were ranked 28th in RPI Rankings, and will look to return to the NCAA Tournament for a seventh time in the past nine seasons under head coach Alan Dawson, who has served as ODU’s Head Coach for 21 seasons, making the NCAA Tournament 12 times since taking over in 1997.

William and Mary won the CAA Conference Title and also made the NCAA Tournament, led by Junior striking sensation Antonio Bustamante, who finished the season with 15 goals and 5 assists, and scored FOUR goals in William and Mary’s CAA Quarterfinal game vs Hofstra.

And Virginia Tech also made the NCAA Tournement after a successful season in a tough ACC conference, beating Air Force in the first round before eventually bowing out to Michigan State in the second round.

In total, SEVEN teams from the DC/MD/VA area made the NCAA tournament in 2017, but the prospect of even more teams from the area competing for a spot next season is just as exciting.

Looking to Compete for an NCAA Tournament Spot Next Season

George Washington finished with a 9-7-2 record this season, competing in the Atlantic-10 conference. Freshmen Oscar Haynes Brown, Brady O’Connor, Simon Fitch, and Peirce Williams all got valuable minutes this season, and look to take the next step next year as head coach Craig Jones and his coaching staff continue recruiting efforts as they look to continue to build a competitive program in DC.

UMBC competed with a number of teams who made the tournament this season, beating Maryland at home, beating New Hampshire, and beating Albany in the regular season before losing to them in the conference tournament. The Retrievers graduate a few key seniors this year with starters Gregg Hauck, Cormac Noel, Tom Paul, and Sammy Kahsai all making way for younger players to step up next season. Matt Bailey and goalkeeper Ciaran O’Loughlin were both voted to America East All-Rookie team, and with U-17 National Team goalkeeper Quantrell Jones committed to UMBC for next season, the competition every day in training for Coach Pete Caringi’s Retrievers will start from the goal and hopefully work it’s way throughout the rest of the team, as UMBC look for players like Bailey, Tre PulliamTre McCallaPatrick Jean-Gilles, David Harris, and James Gielen looking to replace the goals that they’ll be losing with Kahsai moving on.

Loyola missed out on an NCAA Tournament spot despite playing an exciting brand of soccer all season. Steve Nichols‘ Greyhounds will come back even stronger next season, with a good young talented squad. Freshman Goalkeeper Chase Vosvick made First-Team Northeast Regional Team as a freshman, as well as Patriot League Rookie of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year. Sophomore Brian Saramago will look to stay healthy in 2018 after being voted First-Team All-Patriot League, and the amount of talent that Coach Nichols has at his disposal next season with guys like Barry Sharifi, Nico Brown, Sam BrownJosh Fawole, as well as standout incoming center back Jake Dengler, who (last I heard) was set to transfer to Loyola from CCBC-Essex for next season, should see the Greyhounds be in the Nationally-ranked conversation next year.

Making Progress

George Mason, who were receiving votes for National Top 25 at the beginning of the season, will look to bounce back next year with a revamped squad after they graduate six seniors this season and 1 graduate student. One of the graduating seniors are leading scorer Henning Dirks, who scored 10 goals and added 7 assists this season. The Patriots finished with a 5-9-2 record but are very well coached under Head Coach Greg Andrulis, who will be looking to build on this season heading into 2018.

James Madison, who I thought looked very balanced at the beginning of the season, finished the season with a 9-7-3 record but earned some victories against quality opponents this season. They beat William and Mary 4-3 in regular season (before losing to them in Conference Championship Semifinal), beat 15th-ranked UNC Wilmington 2-0, and also defeated an FIU team in preseason who ended up going on to second round of NCAA Tournament before losing to Duke. JMU is only graduating one senior this season, and have a good core group of young players returning, including sophomore midfielder Manuel Ferriol who led the team in scoring with 7 goals, as well as midfielder Ben Dao.

Navy, for as much as we wrote about them in the offseason, were bound to have another difficult season ahead of them as Coach Tim O’Donohue and his coaching staff continue to revamp their squad.

The Midshipmen started four freshmen throughout most of the season, with a number of guys getting valuable minutes heading into next year.

Navy’s recruiting class is looking pretty impressive for next season, with TEN high school seniors currently committed to Navy, including local standout center back Tyler Collins from Mount St Joe’s (also a part of Baltimore Celtic 2000 team), Baltimore Armour U18/19 player Jacob Williams (one of the team’s leading scorers), two outstanding young goalkeepers in Tyler Fahning of Minnesota Thunder Academy, and Johan Penaranda who starts for a very talented NYCFC U18/19 USSDA team. A full list of Navy’s verbal commitments:

Navy Soccer

But what many don’t realize is that the DMV will have ANOTHER division one program competing in the area next season.

Mount Saint Mary’s, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, has reinstated their Men’s Soccer program and are returning next season after a few years on hiatus. This is a program which had some success under former head coach Rob Ryerson in the early 2000’s, and will compete in the NEC Northeast Conference.

mount st marys soccer

New head coach Bryan Cunningham, who was formerly the Head Coach at UCF, has a reputation for developing MLS-level talent, including three first-round MLS Draft selections in Romario Williams (2015/1st rd/3rd overall pick), Deshorn Brown (2013/1st rd/6thoverall pick) and Hadji Barry (2016/1st rd/13th overall pick), in addition to current US National Team and NYFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson (2010/4th rd).

We had a quick discussion with Coach Cunningham earlier today, and he is more than excited about the quality of players his program has been recruiting ever since this past January when he took over as head coach.

“We’re very lucky to have the full support of the University. The President and Administration are all very serious about athletics here at the Mount, and we’re very excited about the team we’re putting together. Between the incoming freshmen, JuCo transfers, and other guys coming in, we think we’ll not only be competitive next season, but could make a case to become a Top 25 program.”

Coach Cunningham named Trevor Singer as his assistant coach back in August. Coach Singer was formerly an Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at George Mason, who also spent some time at Temple. He has Academy coaching experience with FC Delco, and also serves as a National Team scout within the Region 1 ODP Program.

I asked Coach Cunningham about what he and his coaching staff thought of the quality of talent here in the DMV area, as they continue their local recruiting efforts which have resulted in verbal commitments from players at clubs like DC United, Baltimore Celtic, SAC, Baltimore Armour, and a host of others.

“In Florida, there were tons of quality players in the area from a host of different backgrounds, so we were lucky to have a lot of quality to choose from. We didn’t really have to leave our home market a ton, and here in the DMV area it’s very similar. The quality of talent here in this area is outstanding.”

Coach Cunningham wasn’t able to shed too much light on next season’s team until National Signing Day, but from what we’ve heard and what he tells us off the record, the prospect of ANOTHER Division 1 program competing in the DMV can only help raise the level of play here in the area.

“In terms of non-Conference games, we’re lining some matches up with top local programs and having discussions with a few teams that should see us with a Top 50 schedule next season. We definitely plan on playing local DMV matches, and are excited to compete in an area with so much talent.”

In terms of what to expect from Mount St Mary’s in Coach Cunningham’s first season, don’t expect them to park the bus every match either.

“We’re going to to attack. We’re not going to stay defensive and grind away to get results. I’d rather go 0-18 and play the right way, then have a winning season sitting in all match. Obviously I don’t expect us to go 0-18 with the amount of speed and athleticism we’ll have next season, but look for us to knock the ball and look to attack from the start”.

2018 NCAA DMV Season

Should Be Exciting

 

Between the seven teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament this season (Virginia, Georgetown, VCU, Virginia Tech, Maryland, ODU, William and Mary), the teams who competed this past season and look to take the next step in 2018 (Loyola, GW, UMBC), and the teams rebuilding through youth who are looking to play an attacking style of soccer next season (Navy, Mount Saint Mary’s, American U), there is a lot to be excited about heading into Spring NCAA Soccer and leading into next Fall.

Be sure to keep following us on Twitter @dmvsoccerdotcom as we’ll keep you updated on recruiting efforts for all DMV NCAA programs.

 

College Soccer Preview: Week 4

NCAA DMV Soccer Schedule

There are some big games for DMV-area college programs this week, including the following:

Tuesday, September 19

GW @ #8 UNC 

Chapel Hill, 7pm

Watch live via stream

GW (2-3-1) Head Coach Craig Jones and team head to Chapel Hill to take on nationally-ranked UNC on Tuesday night. The Tarheels are 6-1 this season, coming off of wins this week against William and Mary (3-2) and Duke (2-1), and are currently second in the Coastal Division of the ACC.

GW comes into the match riding a streak of results as well, defeating Navy on Wednesday night 3-1 in Annapolis, followed by a double-overtime draw with UMBC on Saturday 1-1. Coach Jones seems to have found a bonafide starting forward in freshman Oscar Haynes-Brown, who scored in both matches and has scored 3 goals in his last 3 matches. Fellow freshman Brady O’Connor has started every GW match this season, scoring the game-winning penalty against Navy. This will be GW’s third match in 6 days, a difficult stretch for the Colonials who are 2-3-1 on the season.

ODU vs VCU

ODU, 7pm

ODU (3-1-2) Head Coach Alan Dawson and the Monarchs host VCU on Tuesday in a Virginia derby matchup. ODU is currently fourth in Conference USA standings, coming off of a 3-0 victory to open conference play against Florida Atlantic this past weekend. Freshman midfielder Brandon Perdue, who played for Richmond United USSDA, leads the team in scoring with four goals and an assist on the season, followed by Junior Max Wilschrey with 3 goals and an assist. Tuesday’s match will be the third in 7 days for ODU, defeating FAU and also earning a draw against a tough Campbell side last week, 1-1.

Virginia Tech vs Davidson

VT, 7pm

Watch live via stream

Virginia Tech (2-4) is coming off of two straight losses to ACC opponents: a 3-1 loss to Duke last weekend, followed by a 2-1 loss this past weekend to 12th-ranked Virginia. Head coach Mike Brizendine is hoping to get closer to a winning record after Tuesday’s match vs Davidson, who are 5-0-1 on the season and currently on top of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

American vs WVU

American, 3pm

American host a WVU side who is completing their third of three matches in the DMV area, coming off of a 3-1 victory over George Mason this past weekend, losing their first DMV match 3-1 vs UMBC this past week, American is 1-5-1 on the season, looking to turn things around against nationally-ranked WVU at home.

Wednesday September 20

 

UMBC vs Navy

UMBC, 7pm

Watch live via stream

A big DMV derby match on Wednesday night as UMBC hosts Navy at Retriever Park. UMBC (4-1-1) head coach Pete Caringi won his 450th collegiate game last Wednesday night, in a 3-1 victory against Nationally-ranked WVU, behind two goals from junior center back Kyle Saunderson and two assists from freshman Matt Bailey. This past weekend, the Retrievers came back from a 1-0 deficit at halftime to earn a 1-1 draw away against GW.

For Navy (1-5-1), head coach Tim O’Donohue continues to work with a younger squad, starting four freshmen and bringing a fifth off of the bench. The Midshipmen have lost their past 2 matches, a 3-1 home defeat to GW last week followed by a 2-1 loss at Duquesne on Saturday. Things don’t get any easier for Coach O’Donohue and company, with the UMBC match being the first of three games in a week for the Midshipmen.

JMU vs Radford

Radford, 7pm

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JMU (3-2-1) head coach Tom Foley takes his Dukes’ side to Radford on Wednesday in another local DMV derby matchup. JMU defeated Niagra this past weekend 3-0 at home, Ben Dao scoring the first and leading the team in scoring with 3 goals.

Radford (coached by Bryheem Hancock) is also 3-2-1 on the season, coming off of a 2-0 victory against Howard this past weekend.

Georgetown vs Stony Brook

Georgetown, 4pm

Watch live via steam

Ninth-ranked Georgetown lost their first match of the season this past weekend, a 1-0 away loss to Xavier. Hoyas head coach Brian Wiese will look to get his side back to winning ways on Wednesday as they host Stony Brook who is 5-1-1 on the season and currently second in America East Conference standings.

For Georgetown, despite being 4-1-1 on the season and ranked ninth in the country, they are currently in seventh place in Big East standings, following their first conference loss this past weekend. Sophomore striker Achara leads the Hoyas in goals with five on the season, he also leads the team in shots with 12.

William and Mary vs Longwood

William and Mary, 6pm

Watch live via stream

William and Mary (3-2-2) is coming off of a 2-0 home victory against Campbell this past weekend, after dropping a close 3-2 away match against UNC last week. Head Coach Chris Norris’ Tribe team is currently fourth in CAA Conference standings, taking on a Longwood side which is 0-4-1 on the season. Antonio Bustamante, Ryder Bell, and William Eskay are all tied for leading goal scorers for William and Mary, with two goals a piece.

George Mason vs East Tennessee State

George Mason, 7pm

Watch live via stream

Mason head coach Greg Andrulis and company are currently in fourth place in Atlantic 10 Conference standings, with a 3-2-1 overall record. The teams above them: UMass and Fordham, are 4-2-1, so a win on Wednesday night at home could see the Patriots climb the conference standings as they host East Tennessee State.

East Tennessee State is 3-1-2 on the season, defeating Virginia Tech in preseason and also losing a closely-contested match against Nationally-ranked Kentucky 2-1.

For Mason, senior striker Henning Dirks leads the team in points with 4 goals and 5 assists, as well as in shots with 16 on the season. Sophomore Ryan Mingachos also has four goals, to go with Sophomore Tunde Akinlosotu‘s 2 goals and 2 assists on the season.

 

DMV US Soccer Development Academy Recap 9/19-9/20

USDAAll three DMV-area US Academy teams endured long road trips up North this weekend, facing off against tough opponents in the Northeast conference.

DC United traveled to New York to take on BW Gottschee and Albertson SC,  while Bethesda-Olney and Baltimore Armour both took weekend trips to Connecticut to square off against Oakwood Soccer Club and Beachside SC.

Baltimore Armour

Baltimore ArmourBaltimore Armour vs Beachside

Baltimore Armour’s u17/18 side took on Beachside SC on Saturday at University of Bridgeport. They were able to get on the board against a competitive team, but the home team prevailed in a 3-1 victory. Goal scorer for Baltimore Armour u17/18 has not yet been reported.

Also in action on Saturday was the Baltimore Armour u15/16 side, coming off of a victory last week against division opponents Bethesda-Olney.

After allowing 2 first half goals to Beachside, and an early goal in the second half, Armour was down 3-0 early, but continued to fight. They were able to make it 3-1 after defender Ben Detweiler saw his deflected volley find the back of the net. A few minutes later, Matthew Bailey was able to put a left-footed shot in the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game. Armour continued to pressure Beachside’s goal throughout the second half, but were unable to find the tying goal despite a hard-fought effort.

Baltimore Armour vs Oakwood Soccer Club

On Sunday, Armour continued their journey up North to Portland, CT to square off against Oakwood Soccer Club at Oakwood’s beautiful soccer complex.

Baltimore Armour u17/18’s were up first, putting in a hard-fought effort but unable to produce a result despite pressuring the Oakwood goal throughout the game. The match finished 1-0 in favor of the home team.

Up next, Baltimore Armour u15/16’s tried to keep the momentum going after nearly coming back from a 3-0 deficit the day before. Armour was able to get on the scoreboard in the first half, thanks to an excellent finish from Olufela “Fela” Osifeso who collected a flick-on from Baltimore Armour striker Brady O’Connor, dribbled around the goalkeeper, and finished the goal from a tough angle. Armour were able to preserve their 1-0 heading into halftime, despite a number of efforts from Oakwood striker Kamer Nuhiu nearly finding the goal. A second half which can only be described as complete insanity would follow in one of the craziest halves of soccer that you could imagine in a USSDA match.

Baltimore Armour striker Brady O’Connor hit the post early in the first half, unlucky not to give his team a 2-0 lead. Oakwood was able tie the match soon thereafter, with Oakwood striker Kamer Nuhiu, who was very impressive throughout the match, finding the back of the net five minutes into the second half to make it 1-1.

However, Baltimore Armour was able to shift the lead back in favor of the visitors, thanks to Olufela “Fela” Osifeso following up a rebound and finding the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Kamer Nuhiu wasn’t finished however, as he was able to find another goal eleven minutes later, tying it up at 2-2 with 24 minutes left in the match. Game on.

Nuhiu was then somehow able to find 2 more goals in the second half, in the 66th and 68th minutes, to take his goal tally in the match to four and putting his team up 4-2. A resilient Baltimore Armour side, coached by head coach Frank Assaro, continued to battle. Matthew Bailey found Armour’s third goal after a spectacular volley from 25 yards out found the back of the net in the 69th minute, and it was sure to be an intense final 10 minutes of the match with the score being 4-3.

Armour conceded a fifth goal two minutes later, when Simon Becher scored for Oakwood. However, Armour continued to battle, and made the game 5-4 in the 79th minute thanks to Kamso Onwumechili getting on the end of a ball bouncing in the box and finishing for Armour. It was 5-4 heading into extra time, but the Baltimore Armour u15/16 side weren’t able to equalize and were left with a long bus ride home after a roller coaster of a match.

Next weekend, Baltimore Armour travels to Pennsylvania to take on PA Classics on Saturday.

Bethesda-Olney

Bethesda OlneyBethesda-Olney vs Oakwood Soccer Club

Bethesda-Olney u17/18’s came into their matchup vs Oakwood with a perfect 2-0 record so far this season, after defeating Baltimore Armour the week before and Everton FC Westchester in Week 1. The visitors were able to keep their perfect record in tact on Saturday, after defeating the home team 1-0 at Oakwood’s soccer complex in Portland, CT. Bethesda-Olney’s goal was scored by Justin Lobe.

Up next was Bethesda-Olney’s u15/16 side, taking on a tough Oakwood u15/16 side who only lost to New England Revolution’s u15/16 team in week 1 by one goal in a 1-0 defeat. The home team prevailed this time out, with Oakwood winning the match 2-0.

Bethesda-Olney vs Beachside SC

On Sunday, Bethesda-Olney were in Bridgeport, CT to take on Beachside SC before a long journey back to Maryland on Sunday night.

Bethesda-Olney u17/18’s were up first, looking to keep their perfect record in tact. However, they ran into a Beachside team who were able to produce a 3-0 victory and improve their record to 2-1 on the season. Bethesda-Olney’s u17/18 side are 3-1 heading into next weekend’s away matchup vs NJCSA.

In u15/16 action, Bethesda-Olney looked to rebound from 2 straight losses to Oakwood and Baltimore Armour, respectively, and were able to do so after securing an impressive 3-0 away victory versus a quality Beachside opponent. Goals were scored by Jerry Zouantcha, Alex Debayo-Doherty, and Gabe Segal. Bethesda-Olney u15/16’s will travel to NJ next weekend to take on NJCSA.

DC United

DC United AcademyDC United vs BW Gottschee Academy

With the other two DMV-area Academy clubs traveling to Connecticut this weekend, DC United had a Northern road trip of their own this past weekend when they took the road to New York to take on BW Gottschee and Albertson SC, respectively.

DC United u17/18’s were coming into Saturday’s matchup with BW Gottschee- who is historically competitive at every age level- with a perfect 2-0 record after beating NJCSA in week 1, and earning an impressive 5-0 away victory in their last match.

Heading into halftime scoreless, DC United u17/18’s took a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Gerson Umana. However, the home BW Gottschee continued to battle and were able to secure two second-half goals, handing DC United their first loss of the season.

DC United’s u15/16 side, who allowed 5 goals in the week prior in a 5-1 defeat to New York Red Bulls, also dropped to the home BW Gottschee side by a score of 1-0.

DC United vs Albertson SC

Both DC United Academy clubs were looking to rebound from losses on Sunday, when they took on Albertson SC at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

The DC United u17/18 side were up first, and managed to improve their record to 3-1 after defeating the home Albertson SC side 2-0. Miles Robinson scored in the first minute of the match, and Jose Carranza scored DC United’s second goal in the first half to secure the 2-0 victory.

In u15/16 action, DC United made short work of Albertson SC thanks to Colin Brezniak, who netted a brace within 20 minutes of the match. Alexis Cerritos scored in the second half, as did Casimir Zekoua, to secure a 4-0 victory for the DC United u15/16 side who travel to Pennsylvania next weekend to take on PDA.

USSDA Atlantic Division Standings

U17/18

U17/18 Atlantic standings

DC United are currently in third place in the U17/18 Atlantic Standings, followed by Bethesda-Olney who are in fourth. Baltimore Armour u17/18 are in last, with a lot of time to improve.

U15/16

U15/16 Academy Standings Atlantic

In the u15/16 tables, DC United are in fourth place through 4 matches, Bethesda-Olney in 6th place, and Baltimore Armour in 8th.

Congratulations to all of the local DMV Academy teams, and keep up the good work!