College Season Preview
As August winds to a close, many of Lane United’s 2016 players are entering into their college seasons. From the University of South Florida, to the University of Portland, LUFC alumni have dispersed across the country to compete with their respective college clubs with the hopes of bringing home league, division, or even national championships. Find out more about LUFC’s college players and their teams with this preseason preview.
Many of Lane United’s college players continue to call the west coast home long after LUFC’s season has ended. This year, seven LUFC alumni are staying here in the Willamette Valley as they attend Oregon State University. Sam Tweeton, Zach Dickey, Nathan Braaten, Matt Arbogast, Timmy Mueller, Devonte Small, and Jordan Jones will begin their 2016 season with the Beavers tonight against DePaul in the annual Hensor-Zaher Memorial Tournament at 5:00 PM at Lorenz Field in Corvallis. Their second tournament game takes place at 3:00 PM on August 28th, against Wright State. Admission is free.
Further north, Corban University welcomes LUFC defender, Josh Noonkester back as an Assistant Coach for the 2016 season as he finishes his graduate degree. Former OSU player, Rolando Velazquez also joins the Warriors this season. The Warriors are ranked second-overall in the Cascade Collegiate Conference coaches preseason poll.
In Portland, LUFC midfielder, Dirk van der Velde and PDL “Player to Watch”, Matthew Coffey will join the University of Portland as they look to improve on their 1-6 record in 2015 in the West Coast Conference. The Pilots recently played Oregon State to a 2-2 draw in a preseason exhibition match at OSU.
In Washington, Lane United goalkeeper Ben Willis enters into his sophomore season with Gonzaga University. Willis had a stand-out season with the Reds this year, recording 18 saves on the season. He’ll look to increase his playing time with the Bulldogs now that former LUFC goalkeeper, Chris Lowrimore has graduated.
In California, Eugene native Casey ChubbFertal rejoins the University of Redlands Bulldogs, who are ranked #21 in the NSCAA Division III college pre-season rankings. ChubbFertal earned First Team All-SCIAC honors for his outstanding season with the Bulldogs in 2015. Fellow Eugene native, Aidan Johnson enters into his sophomore season at Claremont McKenna College. The Stags are ranked 5th in the SCIAC preseason coaches poll and will begin league-play at home on September 5th against Pomona-Pitzer.
Rounding out the west coast colleges, defender Amer Sasivarevic enters into his senior year at Grand Canyon University having been named to the All-Western Athletic Conference pre-season team. Sasivarevic started in 15 matches for the Lopes last year and has played in 47 matches during his career at GCU.
On the east coast, Michael Bajza returns to the University of South Florida for his senior season. The USF Bulls are ranked 19th in the in the NSCAA pre-season Division I rankings.
LUFC veteran, Armando Filho rejoins the Post University Eagles for his senior season. The Eagles are ranked second in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference coaches preseason poll after finishing the 2015 season 13-6-1 overall and 9-3 in conference play.
The midwest is home to many LUFC players this college season. Two year LUFC veterans, Jonathan Stadler and Mathias Binder return to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, after Stadler had a stand-out season for the Reds providing a dependable presence in the LUFC back line, while Binder’s promising start was cut short by injury. The two Reds faced LUFC teammate, Dillon Nino on August 16th when the Panthers played the Dayton Flyers in a preseason match. The Dayton Flyers are predicted to finish second in the Atlantic-10 Conference, according to the A-10 preseason coaches poll.
Former Post University student, Stefan Tomasevic will play his junior season at Saginaw Valley State after transferring over the summer. The Cardinals made their fourth NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in five years last year and will look to continue their success in the 2016 season. Tomasevic was Lane United’s leading goalscorer this summer with three goals on the season.
Another midwest school that boasts an LUFC player on their roster is Marquette University. Lane United goalkeeper Luis Barraza rejoins the Golden Eagles for his sophomore season after a fantastic summer for Lane United where he recorded 11 saves in five games.
Finally, the Creighton Bluejays welcome five LUFC players to their 2016 squad: Mitch LaGro, Ricky Lopez-Espin, Riggs Lennon, Akeem Ward, and Joel Rydstrand. The Bluejays are ranked #7 in the NSCAA Division I preseason rankings and begin regular-season play tonight at 5:00 PM against #25 ranked Rutgers.