Men’s Soccer Kicks Off 2017 Campaign in North Carolina

Aug. 24, 2017


The No. 12 Providence College men’s soccer team begins the 2017 season with a pair of road games in North Carolina. First, the team takes on No. 4 North Carolina at Elon University in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Aug. 25. The Friars then clash with No. 2 Wake Forest at 7:00 p.m. on Aug. 27.

vs. North Carolina
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Twitter: @PCFriarsMSoccer

at Wake Forest
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Twitter: @PCFriarsMSoccer

Series History vs. North Carolina
First Meeting: North Carolina 2, PC 0 (2005)
Last Meeting: North Carolina 1, PC 0- 2OT (2016)
All-Time Series: 0-2-0

Scouting the Tar Heels
Friday’s game will serve as the season opener for both the Friars and the Tar Heels. North Carolina finished with a 14-3-4 overall record and a 9-2-2 non-conference record in 2016. The Tar Heels advanced to the 2016 College Cup after defeating the Friars 1-0 in double overtime on Dec. 2. North Carolina then fell to Stanford in the national semifinal, 10-9 on penalty kicks on Dec. 10. No. 4 North Carolina returns its top goal scorer and starting goal keeper. Nils Bruening led the Tar Heels in goals (eight) and was second in points (17). Zach Wright also notched 17 points on five goals and seven assists. James Pyle saw 1990:02 minutes of action in 2016 and posted a .821 save percentage. The last time the Friars faced the Tar Heels, Drew Murphy buried the double overtime winner in the 102nd minute. Colin Miller (Bel Air, Md.) registered five saves in net for Providence to Pyle’s two.

Series History vs. Wake Forest
All-Time Series: 0-0-0

Scouting the Demon Deacons
Wake Forest was ranked No. 2 in the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I national preseason poll on Aug. 3. The Demon Deacons advanced to the NCAA College Cup Final, falling to National Champion Stanford in penalty kicks. The Deacs graduated a trio of all-Americans to the MLS in Alec Ferrell, Ian Harkes and Jacori Hayes. Ferrell was Wake Forest’s top goalkeeper last season, playing 1513:02 minutes and recording a 0.54 goals against average. The Demon Deacons do return Andreu Cases Mundet who saw 742:06 minutes and earned a .875 save percentage. Hayes led the team in goals (eight) and points (19) in 2016. Wake Forest returns two-of-three top scorers in Jon Bakero and Ema Twumasi. Bakero scored seven goals and tallied four assists for 18 points and Twumasi scored six goals and notched four assists for 16 points. Prior to the game against the Friars, Wake Forest will host Rutgers on Aug. 25.

Friars in the Preseason
Two Friars received BIG EAST preseason nods for the 2017 season. Mac Steeves (Needham, Mass.) was named the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and an All-BIG EAST First Team selection. Mark Jecewiz (Smithtown, N.Y.) was also named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. The Friars were selected to finish first in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll and earned nine first place votes.

The 2016 Friar Campaign
The Friars finished the 2016 season with 15-7 overall record and 7-2 BIG EAST mark to capture the regular season crown for the first time in program history. The team reached the BIG EAST semifinal for the fourth-consecutive season before falling to Creighton, 2-1. Following an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Friars made a run to the Elite Eight, which included a Second Round upset of the No. 1 overall seed and undefeated Maryland, 5-4. The Friars were down 4-1 with 20 minutes remaining in regulation and then scored four unanswered goals from four different goal scorers to advance. Craig Stewart and his staff were honored as the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year. Senior Julian Gressel led the Friars in goals (15), assists (6), and points (36). He was named BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, an NSCAA First Team All-American, an All-Great Lakes Region First Team All-Star and a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist. Miller, who finished with a 14-2-0 record in net, was named the BIG EAST Co-Goalkeeper of the Year, an All-BIG EAST First Team and All-Great Lakes Region Second Team member. In addition to Gressel and Miller, Jecewiz was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Danny Griffin, Joao Serrano and Liam Wilson earned BIG EAST All-Freshman Team honors. Jecewiz joined Gressel on the All-Great Lakes Region First Team, while Serrano and Griffin were named to the Third Team. Griffin is the Friars top returning scorer from last season, with seven goals and one assist for 15 points in the 2016 campaign. Eight of 10 goal scorers from last season return for the Friars.

Providence’s 2016 Team Captains
It was announced on January 30 that Stewart named redshirt seniors Mark Jecewiz, Dominik Machado and Mac Steeves, as the captains for the 2017 season.

Steeves and Machado Return
After missing the 2016 campaign due to injury, Steeves and Machado return to the pitch for Providence. Steeves tallied 13 goals and two assists in 18 games for the Friars in 2015. He is currently tied for third in goals (27) and points (63) in Providence all-time history. Machado started all 18 games for the Friars in 2015, scoring three goals and tallying two assists.

The Friars’ Newcomers
The Friars have added five freshman to the roster. Ben Agnew (Alpharetta, Ga.), Malcolm Duncan (Toronto, Ontario), Simon Fisher (Brookline, Mass.), Garrett King (Scarborough, Maine) and Ben Ludwick (Boxborough, Mass.) join the 23 returning players.

Up Next
The Friars stay on the road to take on intra-state rival University of Rhode Island at 7:00 p.m. on Sep. 2. Providence plays its first home game against Bryant on Sep. 4 at 7:00 p.m. on Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium.

2017 Providence College Award Winners
Danny Griffin
- New England Soccer Journal Top-10 Players List (Ranked sixth- 8/22/17)

Mac Steeves
-Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year
-Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team

Mark Jecewiz
-Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team




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