By Josephine Emanuelli
The Drew University men’s soccer team comes into their 2016 season looking for redemption after a difficult end to their season last year. They suffered an overtime loss in ECAC semifinals after not making Landmark Conference playoffs for only the second time in the 9-year history of the conference. They are led by head coach Lenny Armuth in his 23rd season for Drew, having just finished their 24th consecutive winning season. They seek to improve on their 12-5-3 record from last season, especially improving their conference record of 3-3-2 to secure their spot in conference playoffs this year.
After graduating only one senior, they are hopeful for the upcoming season, and are approaching it with a new sense of dedication, focusing on winning conference playoffs. In addition to returning ten starters, their top five goal scorers last season are returning, setting the team up for a winning season.
The team is led by three captains, Ian Pavlak (’17). Dylan Hammer (’17) and Eduardo Martinez (’18). Martinez is returning after battling injuries last season, and seeks to be a threat for Drew’s aerial attack, both in corners and set pieces. They seek to lead the team’s 39 players, including two Landmark Conference Second Team Selection: forward Benjamin Audi (’18) and goalkeeper John Marques (’17). Goalkeeper Marques had an impressive season that he is looking to build on, with seven shutouts and a per-game goals scored average of less than one. In addition, Drew is welcoming back their leading assister, Joe Sollod (’17) for his final season.
This season, the Rangers are welcoming 11 new players onto their squad. Their incoming class is an impressive one, including Jason Adamo (’20), an all-state goalkeeper from Roxbury High School in New Jersey. They also welcome midfielder Eddie DiPietro (’20), an all-League selection from Pennsylvania.
Their season is already underway, having played five games, winning three of them including their season opener against FDU Florham. In their Fall Fest tournament, they fell to Hood College in a close 1-2 game but rebounded the next day to decisively beat College of Mount Saint Vincent 6-1. In the first game, Zach Lipshitz (’19) scored the loan goal. The next day, against College of Mount Saint Vincent, Andy Imoh (’20) recorded his first two career goals. Goals were also scored by Lipshitz, Cole Leckburg (’17) and Harrison Gassert (’18) who netted his first career goal as well.
[Photo courtesy of Drewrangers.com]
Sept. 16, 2016