No. 25 Men's Soccer to Open Season at Air Force, Denver This Weekend
Head coach Dave Brandt
#25 Navy (0-0-0) at Air Force (0-0-0)
Friday, August 29, 2014 at 9:00 PM (ET)
Cadet Soccer Stadium | Colorado Springs, Colo.
Free Live Internet Video | Live Statistics
#25 Navy (0-0-0) at Denver (0-0-0)
Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 10:00 PM (ET)
CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium | Denver, Colo.
TV: Altitude Sports/Dish Network (Ch. 413)/DirectTV (Ch. 681/682)
Live Internet Video | Live Statistics
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The 25th ranked Navy men's soccer team will open the 2014 season in Colorado this weekend. Navy will open play at Air Force on Friday at 9:00 PM (ET) and the Mids will also play at Denver on Sunday at 10:00 PM (ET).
The Navy-Air Force game will have free streaming video. The Navy-Denver match will be televised in the Colorado region on Altitude Sports (also available nationwide on Direct TV and Dish) and live streaming video will be available for $8.95. Both games will have live statistics.
Head coach Dave Brandt led Navy to a breakout season in 2013, as the Mids won both the Patriot League Regular Season and Tournament Championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Navy had an overall record of 16-4-2 and was a perfect 9-0-0 in conference play. Navy blanked Bucknell and Holy Cross in the league tournament and then shut out VCU, 3-0, in the NCAA First Round. Navy's season came to an end at No. 12 Wake Forest in the tournament's second round with a 2-1 defeat.
Brandt, who enters his sixth year as Navy's head coach, will look to raise the bar even higher for Navy in 2014. Brandt returns All-America senior defender Joseph Greenspan and two other all-region players in junior defender Derek Vogel and junior forward Jamie Dubyoski.
Greenspan and Vogel will once again anchor Navy's defense in their center back positions. Greenspan, the 2013 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, has received high praise heading into his senior season. Greenspan has been named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List and has been tabbed as a preseason first-team All-American by Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News. Vogel, a freshman All-American in 2012 and a two-time all-league honoree, will enter his third season as a starting center back.
Senior captain Geoff Fries and senior Grant Valenstein will man the outside back positions on the defensive backline this year after both played attacking roles last season. Other returning defenders who will see time on the backline are junior Sawyer Gilmore, junior Michael Parker and sophomore Mark Shiiba. Brandt has also brought in three freshmen defenders in Matthew Crider, Dylan Struthers and Thomas Moore.
Junior P.J. Suess, sophomores Daniel Camuti and Matt Saunders and freshman Brock Dudley will be the holding midfielders playing in front of the defensive backline in Brandt's 4-2-3-1 system. This group will have the task of replacing two standout holding midfielders in Guy Skord and Martin Sanchez, both of whom graduated in 2014.
Dubyoski, the 2013 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, is back on the top of the formation in the striker role. Dubyoski led Navy with 10 goals and 23 points last season.
There will be a deep group of forwards behind Dubyoski, with junior Thomas Shiiba and sophomore Sam Bascom returning on the wings. Sophomores Alex Evans and Matthias Pecoraro also return, as well as senior Donny Burton. The team has a large group of freshmen that will contribute in Aubrey Jones, Daniel Zaremba, Morgen Richards, Ryan Savitt and Josh Calderon.
Junior Jackson Morgan heads a trio of talented but inexperienced goalkeepers who will take over for 2014 graduate Gavin Snyder, who led the NCAA in save percentage (.917) and ranked second nationally in goals-against average (0.37) last season. Morgan appeared in one game for 23 minutes as a freshman and did not see any time as a sophomore in 2013. Morgan was Navy's primary goalkeeper during the 2014 spring season. Mac Burke and Quinn Marshall are Navy's two freshmen goalkeepers.
Navy-Air Force Storylines
One season after making the NCAA Tournament in 2012, Air Force stumbled to a 4-11-5 record in 2013. Navy and Air Force will be playing each other for the first time since 2008 and it has been 30 years since Navy last played at Air Force in 1984. This season will also be the first time since 2008 that Navy, Army and Air Force will all play each other in men's soccer. Air Force leads the all-time series with Navy, 3-4-2.
Navy and Denver will be meeting for the first time on Sunday. Denver was 13-3-4 last season and won the Summit League Championship before being edged out of the NCAA First Round on penalty kicks by Louisville. Denver has been voted as the Summit League preseason favorites and the Pioneers will open the 2014 season by hosting No. 24 Cal State Northridge on Friday evening.
Brandt Tops NCAA Record Book
Navy head coach Dave Brandt's career winning percentage of .807 (291-59-28) is the highest active winning percentage in Division I men's soccer. Brandt is in his 18th season as a collegiate head coach and he is in his sixth season at Navy. The next highest winning percentage behind Brandt is UConn's Ray Reid at .769 (394-97-61). Brandt's winning percentage includes his 12 seasons at Messiah, where he won six NCAA Division III national titles.
Navy in the National Rankings
Navy opens the season ranked 25th in the NSCAA Coaches Preseason Poll. Navy is also ranked No. 20 in the Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Poll and No. 26 in the College Soccer News Preseason Top 30 Poll. Navy finished the 2013 season ranked 25th in the NSCAA Coaches Poll.
Following the season-opening trip to Colorado, Navy will host a pair of games on September 5 and September 8. Navy will host Appalachian State on Friday, September 5 at 7:00 PM and then the Mids will host second-ranked Maryland on Monday, September 8 at 8:00 PM. The Maryland match will follow a Navy-Maryland women's soccer match at 5:30 PM on that Monday.