The Navy men’s soccer team opens its 2018 season at home on Friday against Manhattan at 8 p.m. from the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
For the second-straight season, Navy and Manhattan will face one another to start their years. This season, Navy hosts the Jaspers to cap off a home-and-home series, which started with Manhattan earning a 1-0 victory in Riverdale, N.Y. last season.
🎬 @NavyMSoccer kicks off their 2018 season tomorrow night at home vs. Manhattan at 8:00 p.m. Head coach Tim O'Donohue and senior Michael Hurley sat down to share their thoughts on the upcoming season! For more information visit, https://t.co/FJakyla8Ym #RaiseTheSail⚓ pic.twitter.com/6Y0hKYUmRe
— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) August 23, 2018
Tim O’Donohue is set to begin his third season as head coach of the Midshipmen. Last season, Navy finished 2-13-2 overall and 0-7-2 in the Patriot League. Entering year three, O’Donohue brings in 12 newcomers in his first full recruiting class, which was ranked in the top 30 nationally by TopDrawer Soccer.
With the 12 new faces for Navy this season O’Donohue will call on numerous freshmen to make impacts immediately all over the field. Four incoming forwards will look to help an offense that scored just 15 times last season and recorded 11 assists.
The freshmen quartet of Jacob Williams, Joe Alex, Bayne Bentley and Collin Armstrong will pair with the returning forwards of Phillip Gustafson and Nicko West to increase the offensive output for the Mids this season.
The backline will also be a young corps with five freshmen defenders on the squad for 2018. Matt Nocita, Cameron Porter, Tyler Collins, Ben Huynh and Ryan Teuschl will help increase the depth on defense, which returns six players from last season.
Matt Benedettini is the only newcomer in the midfield after transferring in from Kalamazoo College. In goal, Nick Sigmanand Tyler Fahning round out the freshmen to go along with returning goalkeepers, Ian Bramblett and Michael Hurley.
Fountain of Youth
Navy has a youthful squad for 2018 with 19 underclassmen on the roster, to go along with five juniors and one senior. Hurley is the lone senior on the team this season and he serves as the team captain for the Midshipmen.
— Navy Men's Soccer (@NavyMSoccer) August 13, 2018
Of the 19 underclassmen, just four saw action and each of them earned varsity letters in 2017. Juniors Diego Manriqueand Andrew Hopkins logged the most minutes last season among the returners with 1,489 and 1,330 minutes, respectively. The duo of Manrique and Hopkins are the only two Mids to earn more than one varsity letter with Navy.
O’Donohue’s 11 incoming freshmen will add depth to the lineup and be tasked with making an immediate impact on the field.
Navy has been in numerous close games since O’Donohue took over the program. In 2016, the Midshipmen had 16 of their 18 contests decided by one goal or end in a tie. Last year, Navy played in 12 such matches and four overtime contests. Over the last seven games of the 2017 season, the Mids played to a scoreless draw once and dropped the six remaining contests by one goal.
Within the Patriot League, Navy only lost by more than a goal once, which came in a 2-0 defeat to regular-season champion Loyola on the road.
Navy-Manhattan One Year Ago
Last year in the season opener for Navy and Manhattan, the Jaspers earned a tight 1-0 victory at home. Manhattan earned the game-winning goal in the 77th minute from Troy Carrington. Former Mid, Mac Burke, made seven saves in the match, while Navy compiled just seven shots with three shots on target.
Manhattan racked up 18 shots in the match with 11 coming in the second half. Of Navy’s seven shots, five were in the second half.
— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) August 9, 2018
The Jaspers finished just over .500 last season going 9-8-1 and they finished fourth in the MAAC with a 6-3-1 mark. Manhattan earned a spot in the MAAC Quarterfinals before its season ended following a 1-0 loss to Quinnipiac in the postseason.
Coming into 2018, the Jaspers have nine starters returning, which includes 2017 MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year in Marcellin Gohier and Second-Team All-MAAC selection, Lucas Da Silva.
Manhattan was projected to finish fifth in the MAAC Preseason Poll and Gohier was lone Jasper selected to the 2018 Preseason All-MAAC Team.
Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. on Friday night from Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
-Via Navy Sports