2014 record: 7-7-4 (2-1-3 MCC, 4th)
Starters returning/lost: 4/7
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/12
Angelo Kelly Sr. Ottumwa, Iowa
(Honorable-mention all-MCC, 2 goals, 5 assists)
Sergio Carro Sr. London, England
(Honorable-mention all-MCC, 2 goals, 2 assists)
Andrew Valett Sr. Davenport, Iowa
(Letterwinner, 2 goals)
Ben Creeger Sr. Phoenix, Ariz.
Max Stamer Fr. Salzgitter, Germany
Loong Ly Sr. London, England
Joni Cruz Jr. Salinas, Calif.
Tom Denat Fr. Seignosse, France
William Penn has a new men’s soccer skipper who knows what it takes to win in its new conference, pushing expectations high for the Statesmen in 2015.
The biggest squad in program history is hitting the pitch this fall for new coach Jaymee Highcock and he plans to have the navy and gold improve off a 7-7-4 record last season (2-1-3 MCC). Highcock has invaluable insider knowledge about the Heart of America Athletic Conference as both a player at Benedictine (Kan.) and coach at Avila.
Not only is the Statesmen roster packed with returning talent, Highcock is also pleased with all of the great play from his army of new individuals.
Angelo Kelly (Sr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Physical Education) heads the way after being selected to all-MCC recognition the past two years, while Sergio Carro (Sr., London, England, Communications) also returns after earning an honorable mention in an abbreviated 2014 campaign.
Carro played in just eight games at the end of the 2014 campaign, but served as a big spark with two goals and two assists.
Andrew Valett (Sr., Davenport, Iowa, Physical Education) also added two goals, while Facundo Benitez (Jr., Buenos Aires, Argentina, Business Management) managed one goal with one assist. Francis Koroma (Jr., Brooklyn Park, Minn., General Accounting) returns to bolster the attacking crew as well.
Tom Simms (Fr., Derbyshire, England) will also look to be a big contributor in his first collegiate season.
Kelly enters his final year with numerous accolades in his rearview and will look to cap it all off with another spectacular showing. The senior managed two goals with five assists a season ago.
He will be joined in the midfield by mostly new faces as Joni Cruz (Jr., Salinas, Calif.), Tom Denat (Fr., Seignosse, France), Angus Dibley (Fr., Gymea Bay, Australia, Communications), and Loong Ly (Sr., London, England, Physical Education) have taken the early edge on the other spots.
Defensive mainstay Ben Creeger (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz., Business Management) will steer the back line as he also tries to finish off his collegiate career with a bang. Fellow returner Bruno Vencovsky (Jr., Sao Paolo, Brazil, Mechanical Engineering) and 2014 redshirt Xavier Martinez (Fr., Las Vegas, Nev., Biology) add experience for Highcock’s defense.
A trio of English freshmen have also performed at a high level during the preseason; the group includes Lewis Hubbard (Fr., Colchester, England), Jack Kindell-Brown (Fr., Chelmsford, England, Physical Education), and Steve Lee (Fr., Camberley, England, Exercise Science).
WPU has had at least one returning varsity keeper in its arsenal for quite some time, but this year the squad is thin in returning talent. In spite of that, Highcock really likes his 2015 group and has high hopes for them. The team’s two returners–Caleb Pipes-Goulsbra (So., Lincoln, England, Exercise Science) and Emmanuel Esparza (Fr., Posen, Ill., Physical Education (K-12))–will battle against newcomer Max Stamer (Fr., Salzgitter, Germany, Secondary Education) to earn the right to compete between the bars.
The 2015 slate begins on August 26 with a road matchup versus top-25 Ashford. Other top non-conference action will follow against Mount Mercy at the Calumet-St. Joseph Invitational and Columbia (Mo.) as Highcock gets his squad ready for stiff competition each time out in the Heart.
As if the Heart was not already a great league, perennial national powerhouse Grand View joins WPU as MCC transfers to make for a ridiculous conference. The Statesmen are ninth in the league’s preseason ranking, but Highcock believes his team can achieve much more. GVU and Missouri Valley–the 2014 Heart champion–are expected at the top of this year’s standings.