#25 Northwestern Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

Northwestern Wildcats

Overall Rank: #25
Conference Rank: #3 Big Ten Conference
Northwestern Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Northwestern Team Page


The 2012 season will bring new obstacles for the Wildcats this year. They will have to defend not only the regular season Big Ten crown but the Big Ten tournament title as well. And after their spring season, Head Coach Tim Lenahan and the ‘Cats have reason to believe that it is possible to bring both titles home for the second year in a row by ending the spring 2012 season with an impressive six wins, a loss to Lewis University, and a draw against Wake Forest.  Coach Lenahan said in a press release, “there were a lot of positives this spring and for the most part we played very well.” At the end of the spring games the Wildcats’ offense scored an impressive 11 times while the defense held their opponents to just one goal out of the eight matches.   

2011 Record: 11-5-5, 4-0-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tim Lenahan

Northwestern is a threat to repeat the Big Ten championship mainly because the 2012 roster is almost identical to the one from 2011. Returning forward Reed Losee hits the field for the 2012 season after leading the Wildcats in shots with 44 last season. Losee and the rest of the offense will also have the help of midfielders Lepe Seetane and Kyle Schickel. Seetane ended the 2011 season with five goals finishing second to Oliver Kupe (not returning) for the Wildcats.  Schickel led Northwestern with six assists and was able to nets three goals to help the offense claim the Big Ten title.  The offense isn’t the only strong point but the defense made a name for themselves last year also allowing only 20 goals throughout the 21 games of play.  Returning keepers Tyler Miller and Tommy Tombridge, who showcased his talents in the spring while Miller was absent, will be looking to hold their opponents to another low scoring season. Miller and Tombridge will be accompanied by some new faces on defense while welcoming back some veterans to the squad.  Scott Lakin, Nikko Boxall, and Jarrett Baughman are just some of the names you can expect to hear about for the Wildcats defense as all saw time on the pitch last season as well.

Coach Lenahan said in the same press release in the spring, “Overall, we made good progress in reinventing ourselves as we do each year, but we know there is lots of work ahead of us to have another successful season.”  Whatever weak points Coach Lenahan spots that he feels need work isn’t very obvious after an outstanding spring performance, but it’s there all the same. Continued conditioning and honing in on the exact science of team play is always a work in progress for a team sport. Getting the newcomers adjusted to college play and helping them find their position where they are best suited to contribute to team wins is another constant work in progress during preseason. Coach Lenahan has a well-trained returning squad that will be able to help the youngsters out. And with the incoming talent, the Wildcats will have no issues working out any of the small kinks Coach Lenahan feels the team needs to fix prior to their first game.
Final Projection:
Northwestern proved last year that they were a force to be reckoned with, especially for the Big Ten teams, but this is a new season.  There is no chance anyone will underestimate them after last season and this springs performance.  The ‘Cats won’t have it easy during the regular season either.  They will meet up with Ohio State, Penn State, and Indiana who will all be looking to steal that Big Ten crown from Northwestern. Non-conference games will also pose a threat for the Wildcats as they take on teams such as Notre Dame, Northern Illinois, and Bradley. As long as they don’t break their stride extending from last year into this past spring and can continue it into the 2012 regular season and through to the NCAA tournament, Northwestern has the talent to hold on to the Big Ten crown, make another NCAA appearance and a chance to bring the College Cup home to Evanston.  

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Lepe Seetane, Junior, M, 5
Assists: Kyle Schickel, Senior, M, 6
Shots: Reed Losee, Junior, F, 44
Saves: Tyler Miller, Sophomore, GK, 50

Madness 2012 MLS Draft Rankings:
#34 Tyler Miller

Madness 2012 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#93 Sagar Jambursaria
#129 Joey Calistri