Preseason Conference Rankings by BennettRank
|100||District of Columbia|
|152||St. Thomas Aquinas|
LOCATION: Westbury, NY
COACH: Carlos Declid is going into his 16th season as the head coach of the Bears. He is also actively involved in youth soccer in Long Island.
2014 RECORD: 16-5-2 overall; 8-1-1 ECC
2014 POSTSEASON: Lost to LIU Post in opening round of NCAA tournament.
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. M/F Alberto Ruiz (3 goals, 4 assists — ranked third on the team in points).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: So. F John Camponeschi (3 goals, 3 assists); Jr. B Ben Wilson (3 goals); So. M Carlos Coto (2 goals, 1 assist); So. GK Jonathan Rico (42 saves).
OUTLOOK: The Bears should be solid on offense again after tallying 35 goals last season. Rico gives the Bears a strong presence in goal as he won 11 games a year ago. One of the keys to the Bears’ success will be their ability to once again thrive at home or on the road. In 2014, NYIT was 9-0-1 at home and 5-2 in away games.
: NYIT ist still the team to beat in the ECC. It has the talent to contend for a championship in the conference again and return to the NCAA tournament.
LOCATION: Brookville, NY
COACH: Andreas Lindberg is going into season No. 7 with the Pioneers. He was named the top coach in the region in 2014.
2014 RECORD: 14-3-1 overall; 8-1-1 ECC
2014 POSTSEASON: Lost to 1-0 to Charleston in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. M Per Forgaard (8 goals, 9 assists)
THE SUPPORTING CAST: So. F Jason Lampkin (6 goals, 5 assists); Sr. M Matias Ruiz (2 goals, 7 assists); Sr. GK Jesper Malmstrom (59 saves)
OUTLOOK: The Pioneers have a lot of their top offensive players back, including Forgaard, who was an All-American. They will also be a solid defensive team with the experience of Malmstrom in goal. LIU also added six recruits, including high school All-American Justin Cebollero. Coming off a deep run in the NCAA tournament, the Pioneers will try to repeat their success and maybe go a step further. They certainly have the potential to do it.
Dowling Golden Lions
LOCATION: Oakdale, NY
COACH: John DiRico is going into his 24th season as the head coach of the Golden Lions. He has won 280 games in his career at the school.
2014 RECORD: 10-6-2 overall; 7-3 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: Mike Gronenthal (8 goals — led the team in goals scored last year).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Phillip Svensson (9 assists); Kevin Diaz (4 goals); Sean Collins (3 goals); Chris Friedl (56 saves).
OUTLOOK: The Golden Lions return their best scorer and playmaker, and have several other players capable of stepping up on any given day. They also have their starting goalie back and are going to be a tough team to compete with on both ends of the field. Dowling made a good run in the conference tournament last year, reaching the semifinal round. With a break or two, it may end up playing for the championship this season.
LOCATION: Rockville Centre, NY
COACH: Danny Longo has been the head coach of the Lions since 2007. He is also the head coach of the women’s team.
2014 RECORD: 5-11-2 overall; 5-4-1 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: R-Sr. M Lester Franco (1 goal, 1 assist — finished tied for third in points).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Sr, M Stephen Polimeni (2 assists); So. F Lucas Munoz (1 goal); Sr. B Ryan Fackner (1 goal).
OUTLOOK: The Lions have some work to do to if they are going to take a step forward. They lost their top two scorers and their starting goalie. This is a team that will need time to find its identity. Molloy struggled offensively, managing only 14 goals. Improving on last year means the Lions need to find players to be consistent contributors.
Roberts Wesleyan Redhawks
LOCATION: Rochester, NY
COACH: Scott Reber enters his first season at Roberts Wesleyan. He has been an assistant with the program for five years.
2014 RECORD: 11-7-3 overall; 5-5 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. M Malcom Shaw (3 goals, 5 assists — leading returning scorer).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: So. M Alex Loete (4 goals); Sr. F Damien Pagano (3 goals, 1 assist), So. M Logan Wood (2 goals, 2 assists), So. M Cameron Stewart (3 goals) and So. M Scott Carson (2 goals, 1 assist); Sr. GK Michael Scavone (78 saves).
OUTLOOK: The Redhawks won’t be short on scoring options, making them one of the more balance teams in the ECC. They also have a solid goalie, which help them be one of the top defensive teams as well. Their recruiting class is in good shape with the addition New York prep standout Matt Ketzler, who has the ability to play anywhere on the field. Things are looking good for Roberts Wesleyan heading into the new season. The potential is there for this team to be a surprise contender in the conference.
District of Columbia Firebirds
LOCATION: Washington, DC
COACH: Mathew Thompson is going into his fifth season. He is a former head coach at Slippery Rock.
2014 RECORD: 9-7-1 overall; 5-5 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. F Felix Angerer (8 goals, 7 assists — earned All-Region honors last year).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Jr. M Nenad Smiljanic (8 goals, 4 assists) ; Sr. M Elio Hernandez (4 goals, 2 assists); Sr. GK Louis Connor (73 saves).
OUTLOOK: The return of Angerer gives DC a viable scoring threat who also has a remarkable knack for getting his teammates involved in the offense. If Connor can stay healthy for an entire year — he missed the last three with an injury — this is a team that will be tough to deal with in the postseason.
Bridgeport Purple Knights
LOCATION: Bridgeport, CT
COACH: Brian Quinn enters his 16th season. He has won 142 games in his career with the Purple Knights.
2014 RECORD: 5-9-1 overall; 4-5-1 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: Simon Haakansson (5 goals, 2 assists — led the team in goals and points).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Jr. F Luka Ivanovic (3 goals, 3 assists); Jr. M Jay Abreu (1 goal, 5 assists); So. F Lazar Baresic (2 goals); Jr. M Najja Forbes (2 goals); Sr. B Daniel Augenstein (2 goals).
OUTLOOK: Bridgeport has a strong cast of players who can step up at any given time, and that balance and depth should allow them to be in every game. The key to turning things around, however, is finding a goalie to fill the void left by Augstin Prados, who recorded three shutouts last year. The Purple Knights might not win the league championship, but with the experience they have back, they will no doubt have a great shot at a winning season.
St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans
LOCATION: Sparkill, NY
COACH: Graham Brown is going into his 10th season at the school. Brown has played for and coached professional soccer clubs overseas in his career.
2014 RECORD: 7-7-3 overall; 4-6 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. F Michael Corbi (10 goals, 2 assists — named second-team all-conference last year).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Jr. M Julius Werner (5 goals, 3 assists); Jr. F Duncan Kasibante (2 goals); So, M Patrick Seweryn (1 goal, 1 assist); So. B Alejandro Coyt-Orozco (3 assists); Jr. GK Aiden Tansev (21 saves).
OUTLOOK: Balance will be a strength for St. Thomas. Tansey started four games last year and picked up a win. If he handles being in a prominent role well, the team should be in good shape on the defensive end of the field. The Spartans should be one of the more improved teams in the league. A winning campaign would be a big accomplishment for the 2015 season.
LOCATION: Flushing, NY
COACH: Carl Christian is going into his fifth season. He has also been the women’s coach for the past seven seasons at his alma mater.
2014 RECORD: 5-9-1 overall; 3-7 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. M Pol Narbona (8 goals — top returning goal scorer for the Knights).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Sr. B Aitor Gurruchaga (3 goals); Sr. M Glen Reid (2 goals); Sr. F Paul Sandoval (2 goals); Jr. GK James Brostowski (42 saves).
OUTLOOK: The Knights managed only 20 goals last year. Their scoring should go up with the return of Norbano. Three other returning players scored two or more goals. Queens had solid depth at the goalie position as well with three players back who have experience. The Knights need to be a better team offensively to be better off than they were in 2014. If they can improve in that area, success will follow and hope will exist for a winning season.
LOCATION: Amherst, NY
COACH: Dan Dolan is in his first season as the head coach.. He has been at the helm of the women’s team since 2009 and will continue to hold down that job as well.
2014 RECORD: 5-10 overall; 2-8 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: Jr. M/F Cole Beale (5 goals, 1 assist — led the team in goals scored and points).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: Sr. M/F Caleb Holmes (2 goals); Jr. M/F Alex Reid (2 goals); Sr. B Robert Ralvea (1 goal).
OUTLOOK: Beale will fuel the offense for the Wildcats. But finding others to step is key, especially for a team that will take time to get its defense on the right path since it has no goalie back with experience. Daemen finished off year three of transition to the D-II level, setting a program-record for wins against D-II opponents. It was the program’s highest win total since 2010. The Wildcats should win at least a couple of more games than they did last season.
LOCATION: Dobbs Ferry, NY
COACH: Chris Smith is in his sixth season as the head coach.
2014 RECORD: 3-14 overall; 2-8 ECC
THE CORNERSTONE: Sr. M/B Juan Gatti (2 goals, 6 assists — finished second on the team in scoring).
THE SUPPORTING CAST: So. M Haxhi Verjoni (2 goals); Jr. B Gonzalo Prando (2 goals); Jr. GK Luis Lizarzaburu (65 saves).
OUTLOOK: Injuries and a tough schedule prevented the Mavericks from being a better off last year. The schedule will still be rugged, but if they can stay healthy, they should be an improved team. Mercy lost a lot of its offense from last season, and that will put the team in a tough position to improve. The Mavericks need a big year from Gatti and from Lizarzaburu, who will look to lower his goals against average of 2.63.