2022 Men’s Soccer Season Preview

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Bellarmine University men’s soccer team is still riding that wave.

In 2019, the Knights delivered a thunderous grand finale of a season in Division II, rattling off an unbeaten regular season, capturing the GLVC Tournament title and advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA II Tournament.

Bellarmine followed with an auspicious debut season in D1, securing the top seed from the North Division and an automatic berth to the ASUN Tournament semifinals. Last year, the Knights advanced to the semifinals again, notching their first-ever D1 postseason victory with a 2-1 quarterfinals triumph over FGCU.

Instead of taking their lumps, the Knights are nearly even from a record standpoint after two years in the NCAA’s highest level, totaling an 11-12-2 mark.

“We feel like we are in a good spot after only two years in D1,” said Bellarmine Coach Tim Chastonay, who’s entering his 25th season guiding the program. “We have made two trips to the ASUN Conference Tournament semifinals and had a big win over FGCU this past year. Our overall record is very good as well. You are always going to be judged on wins and losses, but we also look at the individual development of players. The guys are working hard at becoming better players and this has helped in the success of the program overall.”

“Overall, I was pleased with the progress our team made last season,” added Chastonay, whose squad went 7-8-2 in 2021. “In only our second season at the D1 level, we went out and challenged ourselves against some very good opponents. We were competitive every time we took the field and gave ourselves a chance to get a result.”

There is something of a changing of the guard with Bellarmine this season after the graduation of several players who made significant contributions to the landmark 2019 team and beyond. Midfielder Micah Linscott was a D2 All-American and departed tied for 10th in program history in career goals (30). Goalkeeper Connor Range was a four-year starter and D2 All-Region selection. Midfielder Greg Fischer might as well have been known as “The Captain.” Defender Nate Girao was an impact reserve as a freshman and a starting lineup mainstay thereafter, earning ASUN All-Conference accolades last season.

“We lost some great players to graduation,” Chastonay said. “We could never replace those guys but hope our younger players learned and improved by competing with them daily. Many of our players will see their roles expand this season and have been waiting for this opportunity. We don’t necessarily go into the season with a bunch of guys having big college minutes, but these guys are hungry to make a name for themselves.”

Here is a peek, by position, at those guys hungry to make a name for themselves:

GOALKEEPER

While Range departed, Matthew Brozovich is no stranger to big games or delivering big performances over the past two seasons. The senior is a two-time ASUN Defensive Player of the Week and last season went 2-2-1 with three shutouts (tied for fourth in ASUN), a 0.55 goals-against average and .842 save percentage over six appearances.

Redshirt sophomore Lukas Tharp and redshirt freshman Micah Mattes are also back. Alex Lindewirth is a promising freshman who’s seen action in the preseason. Senior Trevor Massa is a transfer from nearby Spalding who was the 2019 SLIAC Defensive Player of the Year.

“Matthew has proven he can be successful at this level,” Chastonay said. “Lukas and Micah have been around and continue to provide great depth. Freshman Alex Lindewirth comes in with a great youth soccer background and has been impressive in preseason. Trevor was a late addition and his four years of successful college play is a big boost and will make things even more competitive.”

DEFENDER

Bellarmine largely has a proven backline, one of the most obvious strengths of the team heading into the season. Sophomore Rikard Cederberg, an ASUN All-Freshman Team selection, started every game last season, and senior Jackson Kirn started all but one.

Junior captain Brock Pope was an ASUN All-Tournament Team honoree who tallied three goals and an assist last season. Senior Joey Gladys appeared in every game last season and logged nearly 1,000 minutes.

Senior Tim Dapore, junior Niall Grimley, redshirt sophomores Christian Fischer, Peyton Fosnough and Zachary Smith, redshirt freshmen Ty Been and Teagan Dunne, and freshmen Bennett Kirn, Jeffrey Cox and Kuker Nodler along with senior transfer Thomas Stickley from Fairfield are all possibilities on the backline.

“Across the backline, we do bring back some players with good college experience,” Chastonay said. “Rikard and Jackson have played big minutes at center back. Niall saw some action last season and looks ready to play a bigger role. Ty, Christian, Bennett and Jeffrey are also options at center back.

“Brock and Joey return in the wide back positions, and both have been very good defenders for us in the past. Teagan, Peyton, Tim, Zachary and Kuker are all competing for time at the wide back spots as well. Transfer Thomas Stickley brings experience to the position and could be asked to play in the back as well.”

MIDFIELDER

In the holding midfield, senior Camden Dunne (one goal, one assist) started every game last season. Sophomore Brendan Schoemehl earned extended minutes in the latter half of last season. Senior Rahim Shalash is a captain, fellow senior Bruno Soria is another threat, as is freshman Collin Folds.

“Camden returns to play one of the defensive midfield spots and has seen a good deal of playing time over his first three seasons,” Chastonay said. “Rahim, Brendan and Bruno have all seen time in the past and should see their roles expand this season. Collin will be in the mix as well.” 

On the wings, senior Haziq Zed (one goal, one assist) was a 2020 ASUN All-Conference selection. Junior Jack Fischer appeared in 15 games last season. Senior Brandon Barrera, junior Omar Sanyang, redshirt sophomore Andrew Blank, redshirt freshman Jackson Marks and freshmen Calle Sjoberg and Cade Morgan bolster the outside midfield slots.

“Haziq has proven in the past he can be a dangerous player in the attacking third, and Jack saw an expanded role last season from his first year and should see an even bigger role this year,” Chastonay said. “Jackson, Andrew and Omar are all healthy and could see time this year. Brandon has seen time in the past and could see more minutes this season. Calle and Cade will provide some good depth on the outside this season.”

The attacking midfield is unproven but promising, with redshirt freshmen Ben Griffis and Santiago Ibarreche and freshmen Cooper Forcellini and Tate McCrery in the fold.

“The attacking midfield position has some great options,” Chastonay said. “Ben has developed nicely and looks ready to play. Cooper has looked good so far and is a very good playmaker. Santiago and Tate can play in the attacking midfield and will provide good depth.”

FORWARD

Redshirt junior Nolan McGrath registered three goals and two assists last season. Redshirt sophomore Chris Shust found the net multiple times in the preseason. Junior Alex Kyrkjeeide is a transfer from Quinnipiac.

“Nolan has seen his role increase each season and should see an expanded role this year,” Chastonay said. “Chris continues to develop and will also see good minutes. Alex has good college experience and could play as a forward, attacking midfielder or out wide.”

Bellarmine’s 2022 slate consists of 16 games, 10 of which will unfold at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium.

“Although we have enjoyed some success, we are still getting accustomed to D1 soccer,” Chastonay said. “The players and coaches continue to learn what it takes to be a success at this level. We have some great programs in the ASUN, and they are models for what we hope to achieve. 

“The ASUN should be very strong again this season. The top teams from last year bring back very good teams. From top to bottom, it is a very competitive conference. I think our squad will be looking to secure a spot in the ASUN Tournament for a third consecutive year.”

For more coverage of Bellarmine athletics, follow us on Twitter (@BUKnights), Instagram (BUKnights) and Facebook (BUKnights).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This page was created programmatically, to read the article in its original location you can go to the link bellow:
https://athletics.bellarmine.edu/news/2022/8/22/2022-mens-soccer-season-preview.aspx
and if you want to remove this article from our site please contact us

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