Lexington, Ky. – Transylvania men's soccer head coach Matt Vogel has unveiled his incoming class along with the official schedule for the fall 2017 season.
Joining the Pioneers men's soccer program in the fall of 2017 are a collection of 11 talented footballers, including Carter Johnson (Lexington, Ky.), Cullin Irvine (Clarkston, Mich.), Griffin Lamb (Union, Ky.), Cole Stava (Edgewood, Ky.), Garrett Dean (Harrodsburg, Ky.), Dalton Wells (Lawrenceburg, Ky.), Landon Bowman (Paris, Ky.), Zach Hill (Mt. Sterling, Ky.), Luc Powell (Richmond, Ky.), Spencer Moriarty (Oswego, Ill.), Zach Tussey (Lexington, Ky.), Dane Heck (Avon, Ind.), and True Williams (Crittenden, Ky.).
Along with the announcement of talent infusion, the Pioneers released the full schedule for the 2017 campaign; Transylvania is aiming to improve upon its second-place finish in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference last season.
The Pioneers' impending run through a 16-game regular season figures to be augmented heavily by the incoming class of 2021.
The striker comes to Lexington from Cranbrook Kingswook High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a program held in high regard. In his senior season, Irvine was part of a team that went 14-5, advancing all the way to the regional semifinals. His individual contributions were noted as Irvine was named a three-time All-District first-teamer, and a one-time selection to the All-Region First Team.
"Cullin is an athletic, hard-working crafty striker and a potent finisher," commented Vogel. "He has great movement off the ball and knows how to defend from the front."
Lamb joins the Pioneers from Kentucky powerhouse Covington Catholic, where he wrapped up a stellar high school career by being named the Northern Kentucky High School Player of the Year along with garnering All-State First Team recognition. In his final run with Covington Catholic, Lamb posted 34 goals and 16 assists as the Colonels finished as the state runner-up in 2016. As a junior, Lamb's Colonels squad reigned supreme as state champions. Lamb adds a winning pedigree and a scoring habit coming to Transylvania.
"Griffin is a crafty attacking player," analyzed Vogel. "He can play a variety of attacking positions and has a knack for putting the ball in the back of the net."
The Lexington Christian Academy product is another versatile player joining Vogel's 2017 Transylvania squad. A holding mid and right wing, Johnson led his team last season in assists and was second in goals scored. As a senior, Johnson led the Eagles to the All-A finals and the district semifinals, and was named an All-City Honorable Mention.
"Carter is an intelligent player who buzzes around the field," added Vogel. "He is most used to playing in the middle of the field, but is capable of playing different positions."
A tall, defensive midfielder from Mercer County Senior High School, Dean adds size and another winning pedigree to the 2017 Transy squad. Dean's Mercer County team blitzed through its region, tabulating a 21-2-2 season before bowing out in the first round of the state tournament. Dean factored significantly into that run, posting 21 goals and 13 assists as a senior. His ability to take over games landed him onto the All-State First Team and the All-State Second Team as a junior.
Vogel, too, is impressed with what he's observed from the incoming midfielder who can also aid on the backline: "Garrett is a destroyer. He can dominate a game with his ability to break up attacks and he has a nice skill set to play through in the midfield."
The 6-foot-tall Stava joins high school teammate Griffin Lamb at Transylvania for the 2017 season. Stava was another tremendous individual talent on the Covington Catholic team that finished as the state runner-up in the 2016 championship. Stava is a proven scorer who has stepped up in big moments. While last year's state championship went to penalty kicks, Stava scored the lone regulation goal for his Cov Cath squad, one of 17 on the year for the striker/midfielder. Notching 17 goals and 12 assists as a senior, Stava adds size, scoring, and another personality with championship experience.
"Cole is a big, athletic, versatile player," marveled Vogel. "He can literally play every field position on the pitch, and has great size and a great skill set to compliment that."
The Anderson County High School product arrives to Transylvania as a defender. Wells played his club soccer with Lexington FC, with which he won a club state championship.
"Dalton is a workhorse who impacts the game wherever he plays," commented Vogel. "He's capable of playing as an outside back, winger, and a variety of other positions."
The fullback makes the short move from Bourbon County High School to Transylvania where he was named to his district's All-District Team twice and to the All-Region tournament team his junior season. Bowman cites his chemistry and grit as qualities which will enhance the culture and production of the Transylvania men's soccer team. Vogel also credits Bowman's mind as a critical asset: "Landon is a skilled and experienced outside back. He is a good ball-winner, knows when to get forward, and can read the game well defensively."
Hill is another newcomer who provides length along Transylvania's strengthening back line. The 6-foot-2 first team all-state selection out of Montgomery County High School is a highly-regarded defender who was named to the Olympic Development Program's Region II team.
"Zach is an athletic, skilled, and versatile player with a high skill set," commented Vogel. "He can play a variety of defensive and midfield positions, and his experience playing on the Region III ODP team shows that he is capable of playing at a very high level."
The midfielder from Madison Central High School is another highly decorated freshman who looks to make his mark immediately at Transylvania. A playmaking career which entailed totals of 16 goals and 36 assists saw Powell lead his Madison Central program to the a 16-5-3 record his senior season, culminating in an appearance in the region semifinals.
Powell was named an All-State Honorable Mention and an All-Region player last season. He is a three-time All-District Player, and a talent that Vogel thinks will be valuable in his ability to rove the pitch: "Luc is a versatile box-to-box midfielder. He can link play, break things up, and can also provide thrust to the attack."
The defender from Oswego East High School is another malleable piece of Vogel's roster in 2017. Primarily a defender, Moriarty has played in all defensive positions and spent most of his time his senior season as a right and left back. Like his freshman peers, Moriarty is an incoming Pioneer whose high school squad enjoyed a taste of the postseason, with Oswego East finishing first in its conference, and moving into the second round of state tournament play.
Added Vogel, "Spencer is an athletic outside back who can also get forward, and has a good skill set to help build out of the back."
The midfielder is another Lexington product out of Lexington Catholic High School who prepares for his first action in two years after missing his senior season due to injury. When healthy, Tussey was a veritable weapon, earning All-City honors his junior season. Tussey is regarded as an option for bolstering Transy's offense.
"Zach is a skilled midfielder who has exceptional distribution," said Vogel. "He is active and involved in helping build attacks."
The lone Pioneer in the class of 2021 to hail from the Hoosier State, Heck is a midfielder who experienced great success in high school. Heck was part of a club team which ranked as high as sixth in the state of Indiana by the ISL, and went on to win the President Cup. Heck won his team's midfield MVP award.
Vogel espoused excitement about Heck's arrival, stating, "Dane is a feisty and versatile midfielder who can play a variety of positions. He is good on the ball and works defensively."
With the addition of the 6-foot-1 Williams to the defensive back line, the Pioneers are primed to solidify their conference-leading defense (T-1st in goals allowed per match). Williams comes to the Pioneers from Grant County High School where his team finished as an 8th region tournament qualifier. Williams's impact was noticed as he was named to the 32nd District All-Tournament Team, and was selected to the KHSAA Senior All-Star Game.
One area Williams figures to stand out immediately upon arrival to Lexington is in his work ethic and energy level. "True is a hard worker and has a high motor," cited Vogel. "He is a team player who can play in a variety of positions on the field."
Along with the news of Transylvania's incoming freshman class, Transylvania men's soccer has also announced the release of the 2017 schedule.
For another year, the Pioneers will open up their schedule at home with the four-team Transy Soccer Showcase. The Pioneers will host Berea on Saturday, September 2, followed by a match versus Muskingum on Sunday, September 3.
Transylvania will take on Centre and Thomas More at home on September 14 and September 20, respectively as the Pioneers get a look at two Kentucky Division III neighbors. The Pioneers will open up Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Saturday, September 30 when they host Rose-Hulman at Pat Deacon Stadium.
While the Pioneers will face the challenge of four consecutive conference matches away from Lexington following the conference opener, they will conversely enjoy the benefit of playing three of their final four matches in the friendly confines of Pat Deacon.
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