There is a saying that is often bandied about in soccer circles that goes, “A week is a long time in sports, and a year is a lifetime.” As the men’s varsity program announced their last three additions to the roster for the fall season, the evidence for that saying has never been more pronounced.
John Boswell, Michele Pataia and Zack Wolfe close out a busy recruiting period for head coach Doug Hess and his assistant Bryan Green that has seen them add eight new faces to the program. This brings the overall number of players expected to show up for the start of preseason in a few weeks to 27 and ramps up the competition for starting places for the season’s kickoff match Aug. 21 against Farleigh Dickinson.
In Boswell, a transfer student from American University, Hess has added height and college experience to a midfield that lost the experienced Anthony Bafile to graduation but returns Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie selection Ken Tribbett. Boswell, whose high school career included an All-State Honorable Mention during his senior year at Cherry Hill West in New Jersey, managed 16 appearances for the Eagles during his two-year stay there. The 6-foot junior aims to major in culinary arts in Drexel’s Goodwin College and with a mention in the fall 2010 Patriot League Honor roll, adds weight to the soccer program off the field.
Pataia comes to Drexel with a soccer pedigree that boasts a six-year stint in the Paris Saint Germain youth set up. This tenure yielded six regional club championships and the prestigious Coup de Paris. The Italian-born true-freshman will line up for the Dragons in midfield and hope to add to the impressive start that he made for the Dragons in their nontraditional season over the spring term.
Finally, Wolfe rounds out the recruiting class that features six other true-freshmen. Wolfe, a native of Pennsylvania, comes to Drexel via the Penn Fusion club set up, where in 2010, he competed in the United States Youth Soccer Association Under-17 championship game. Able to play comfortably at both the center midfield and center back positions, Wolfe will add his considerable 6-foot-1 frame to the battle, heating up for starting places. Wolfe is also a second generation Dragon as his father turned out for the soccer program in the early 90s.
Boasting 7078 minutes, six goals, an All-Rookie selection and eight assists, the 2010 incoming class set the bar high. The successful integration of last year’s large nine-athlete class demonstrated the coaching staff’s ability to bring the athletes up to the level required to compete in the volatile CAA. Drexel Athletics is hopeful that the incoming class of 2011 can match or better that impact on the program.
The start of the preseason is only a few weeks away and Hess’s stamp on the Drexel soccer program is reflected in a youthful roster that only includes one senior in forward Andrew Goldberg. With three goalkeepers, seven defenders, 11 midfielders and six forwards rounding out the roster, 2011 promises to be another eventful year at the Vidas Athletics Complex.