#32 Providence Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

Providence Friars

Overall Rank: #32
#4 Big East
#32 Providence Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
Providence Team Page


Providence was squarely on the bubble heading into November last season. They wrapped up regular season play with a couple more Big East wins and then advanced past Creighton and Georgetown in the Big East Tournament, eventually falling to Marquette in a 3-2 thriller. That was enough to move the Friars off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years. The Friars beat Penn in a shootout, but then ran into eventual national runner-up Maryland in the second round, losing 3-1.

2013 Record: 12-6-4, 6-3-0
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Craig Stewart

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Julian Gressel, Sophomore, M, 5
Assists: Julian Gressel, Sophomore, M, 4
Shots: Julian Gressel, Sophomore, M, 63
Saves: Keasel Broome, Senior, GK, 63

Other Key Returnees: F Mac Steeves, F Fabio Machado, F Markus Naglestad, M Dominik Machado, M Manny Andrade, M Phil Towler, D Nick Sailor, D Jeff Kilday, D Brandon Adler, D Thomas Ballenthin

Key Losses: M Anthony Baumann, M/F Wilder Arboleda, M Phil Ziegler

The Providence defense was nothing special in 2013, yet they might be now. Goalie Keasel Broome played in every minute of every game as a junior. As a sophomore he was a part-time keeper and before that he never saw a minute of action. His rise should continue now and he is ready to emerge as one of the better keepers in the Big East. Broome’s job will be easier with the return of defenders Nick Sailor, Jeff Kilday, Brandon Adler and Thomas Ballenthin. Julian Gressel, who led the team with five goals and four assists, will again be one of the main scoring threats for the Friars.

But this is a team that could use a main scoring threat up top. Providence had ten players who scored between two and five goals last season. It is nice to have threats all over the field, but midfielders Anthony Baumann, Wilder Arboleda and Phil Ziegler were among those threats and are now gone. Forwards Mac Steeves, Fabio Machado and Markus Naglestad are the likely candidates to step up. Steeves, a 6-3 sophomore, is a big target who netted three goals in just 13 appearances. If anybody is going to turn into a top scoring threat, it will probably be Steeves.

Final Projection:
Even if nobody emerges as a great finisher, Providence has enough weapons across the field to do what they did last year and reach the NCAA Tournament. Replacing the departed midfielders could be the bigger issue, yet the experienced defense with Adler and Broome between the posts will cover for any setbacks suffered in the middle of the pitch.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.45 (74th in nation, 6th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.16 (79, 6)
Shutout Percentage: 0.23 (129, 8)
Save Percentage:  0.716 (147, 9)


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