#29 Northwestern Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

Northwestern Wildcats

Overall Rank: #29
#5 Big Ten
#29 Northwestern Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
Northwestern Team Page


By Northwestern standards, the 2013 season was disappointing. The Wildcats still made the NCAA Tournament, but they struggled down the stretch and went just 1-4-1 in Big Ten play. Coach Tim Lenahan returns plenty of talent, but consistency will be the key in 2014. Even if the Wildcats fail to live up to expectations again, this is still a team that should make the tournament.

2013 Record: 10-8-3, 1-4-1
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tim Lenahan

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Joey Calistri, Junior, F, 12
Assists: Cole Missimo, Junior, M, 7
Shots: Joey Calistri, Junior, F, 52
Saves: Tyler Miller, Senior, GK, 59

Other Key Returnees: M/F Eric Weberman, M Chris Ritter, M Brandon Medina, M Connor Holloway, M Jeffery Hopson, D Grant Wilson, D Nikko Boxall, D Henry Herrill, D Scott Lakin, D Nathan Dearth, GK Zak Allen

Key Losses: M Lepe Seetane

With Joey Calistri up top and Tyler Miller in goal, Northwestern has the tools to win the conference. Miller has been a starter for three years now. He recorded eight shutouts in 2013, even though he missed a handful of games with an injury. Miller did manage to boost his save percentage during his junior year and was tested more than usual. With a strong defensive unit returning, led by senior Nikko Boxall, Miller should be less busy between the posts. Calistri netted 12 goals during his sophomore season and is quickly developing into the best pure scorer in the Big Ten. He already has 21 career goals through just two seasons. The Wildcats return a lot of talent in the midfield as well and also bring in a great recruiting class.  

Northwestern would benefit greatly from a secondary scoring threat. Midfielder Chris Ritter netted five goals last year and Brandon Medina added three goals and five assists during limited action as a freshman. Cole Missimo, a junior midfielder, can find the back of the net, but he is better setting up other scorers. The answer could come in the strong recruiting class. Forwards Elo Ozumba and John Moderwell will both get the opportunity to earn major minutes from day one. Ozumba is the star of the class and could very quickly turn into a great secondary scoring option next to Calistri.

Final Projection:
This will be a very interesting campaign for Northwestern. There is plenty of talent and experience on this roster, but there was last year too and the Wildcats failed to live up to expectations. The Big Ten is going to be tough and this is a team that could win just one conference game again. But they could just as easily turn things around and win four or five contests. With a strong coaching staff and even more experience on the roster, expect Northwestern to get closer to four or five wins than one.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.52 (59th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.02 (59, 4)
Shutout Percentage: 0.43 (34, 3)
Save Percentage:  0.760 (100, 5)

Madness 2015 MLS Draft Rankings:
#18 Chris Ritter
#28 Nikko Boxall

Madness 2014 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#22 Elochukwu Ozumba
#57 John Moderwell


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 Men's Soccer Previews