GLIAC Coaches Pick Saginaw Valley State & Notre Dame to Win 2012 Men’s Soccer Divisional Titles

GLIAC Coaches Pick Saginaw Valley State & Notre Dame  to Win 2012 Men’s Soccer Divisional Titles

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BAY CITY, Mich. -- The head men’s soccer coaches of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) chose Saginaw Valley State University and Notre Dame College to win the 2012 GLIAC men’s soccer North and South divisional titles, respectively, in preseason balloting.

2012 GLIAC Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll 

North Division


School (first-place votes)



Saginaw Valley State (5)



Tiffin (2)



Northwood (2)








South Division 


School (first-place votes) 



Notre Dame (7)



Ohio Dominican (3)






Lake Erie





    The league's head coaches participated in the balloting, but were not allowed to vote for their team.

The Cardinals outreached Tiffin University by eight points in the North Division voting (42-34) and acquired five first-place votes. SVSU was the 2011 GLIAC Champion and earned a spot in the NCAA D-II postseason tournament last year.  

    Tiffin, the defending GLIAC Tournament Champion, finished second in the poll with 34 points and two first-place votes. Northwood University collected 33 points to come in close third, accumulating the last two first-place votes. The Timberwolves also earned an NCAA D-II postseason bid last year.

    Ashland University was voted fourth in the North Division with 23 points. The University of Findlay finished with 12 points to finish fifth in the North.

    Notre Dame earned seven first-place votes, giving the Falcons a five point margin over Ohio Dominican University to finish first in the South Division. Notre Dame is joining the conference as an affiliate member this year. ODU tallied 38 points and earned the last three first-place votes.

    Walsh University, beginning its first year as a full member of the GLIAC, placed third in the South with 27 votes. Lake Erie College tallied 22 points, putting the Storm in fourth place. Malone University, also entering its first year in the GLIAC, finished in fifth place with 15 points.

    GLIAC men’s soccer teams open play on Thursday Aug. 30 with conference play beginning Saturday, Sept. 8. Six teams will qualify for the 2012 GLIAC Men’s Soccer Tournament which will begin with quarterfinals on Oct. 30 on campus sites, with the semifinals and final held on Nov. 2 & 4 on the campus of the No. 1 seed.

    For more information about GLIAC soccer please visit the GLIAC soccer web page at:


Ashland University
Head Coach:  Jon Freeman
(Third season, 19-14-6)
2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 4th (North)


The Eagles are looking to rebound and recapture the form they had two years ago when they won the GLIAC championship. A year ago the Eagles finished 6-9-3, 4-6-2 in GLIAC action.

    Third-year head coach Jon Freeman figures to build this year’s team around defender Jamie Dollar (Perrysburg, Ohio), a first team All-GLIAC selection in 2011. Dollar, a senior, is AU’s top returning scorer (four goals, eight points) Junior goal keeper Justin Nolan (Medina, Ohio/Medina Highland) is another solid veteran, he’s coming off a year that saw him post a 1.13 goals against average in 15 games.  Senior midfielder-defender Danny Lusheck (Cincinnati, Ohio/St.Xavier) tallied four points on two goals.

    The Eagles lose six starters from last year’s team. AU has to find a way to replace the firepower of Kenny Hewitt, a first team All-GLIAC pick who supplied team highs of six goals and 19 points.  Graduation also claimed Andrew Iden, who had three goals. AU had 20 goals last season and Freeman will look be looking for scoring threats to emerge from the 11 returning lettermen and a list of 13 newcomers.


University of Findlay
Head Coach:  Andy Smyth

(24th season, 177-190-34)

2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 5th (North)


The University of Findlay men’s soccer team looks to come out with a rejuvenated attitude this season after a 3-13-1 record in 2011.  They will be led by Andy Smyth, who is entering his 24th year (177-190-34) at the helm of the program

The Oilers return their top two goal scorers from last year, including junior Alex Oliver, who led the team with three goals as well as junior Nick Naayers, who started all 17 games a year ago while scoring two goals.


Lake Erie College
Head Coach:  Davie Carmichael
(Second season, 5-5-2)
2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 4th (South) 


Lake Erie College enters the 2012 season after finishing 5th in the GLIAC in its first season under head coach Davie Carmichael, missing out on a postseason berth by just one point. The Storm finished the 2011 campaign with an 8-9-3 overall record and a 5-5-2 conference mark.

The Storm’s offense returns senior forward Randy Danso (6G, 2A), a first-team All-GLIAC selection in 2011. Danso scored a season high six goals and added two assists last year. Junior midfielder Nathan Bias also returns for the offense after scoring five times in 2011. Junior Stewart Bath, who led the Storm with four assists in 2011, also returns for offense.
Sophomore Willy Cognee, the 2011 GLIAC “Freshmen of the Year,” will anchor the Storm’s defense along with classmate James Grogan. The Storm allowed 1.5gpg in the 2011 season. A big part of that was due to the play of Ricky Carreira in net. Carreria, a two-time first-team All-GLIAC Goalkeeper, has moved on to the professional ranks and replacing him will be the key to Lake Erie’s success this season. Sophomore Sam Etherton and freshman Filip Ljubevski are expected compete for the starting role in net.


  Malone University
  Head Coach: Brian Stock  
  (First season)
2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 5th (South)   



Malone men’s soccer will embark on a new chapter in program history with first-year head coach Brian Stock at the helm. Stock, who served as head woman’s coach at NCAA Division I Southern Utah University for the past 11 seasons, replaces Chris Carmichael, who led the Pioneers to a 10-9-1 mark a year ago.
The 2011 team, which compiled the most wins for the program since 2001, returns seven starters. Five of those starters garnered postseason honors for their play on the pitch last fall. Junior midfielder Stephen Wannah and sophomore defender Luan Tufani were selected to the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) All-East Region Team, while juniors Kelvin Aquino, Rubem Miranda, and Felipe Montero received East Region Honorable Mention recognition.

The Pioneers figure to possess plenty of attacking firepower, returning six of their seven leading scorers responsible for 41 of the 43 goals they tallied a year ago. Aquino paced the group, notching 11 goals and five assists, while junior Felipe Delgado followed closely behind recording eight goals and four assists of his own. Monteiro figures to get the nod at the goalkeeper position after posting a 1.32 GAA with 92 saves in 2011.

  Northwood University
  Head Coach:  Doug Carter
  (14th season, 78-85-20)
  2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 3rd (North) 


The Northwood men’s soccer team is coming off the finest season in program history, which saw them reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time. And the Timberwolves are poised for another strong campaign in 2012, with 14 players returning from a year ago who scored at least one point.

First Team All-GLIAC defender Luke Ruff anchors a physical back line that allowed just 1.2 goals per game a year ago. Northwood’s midfield should be a big strength, thanks to the return of Chen Tzfania, Mitchell Brent and Matthew Howitt.

The Timberwolves will have to deal with the loss of GLIAC “Offensive Player of the Year” in Keith Lough, but returners D.J. Evans, Shaun Rydzewski and Joey Censoni have all shown the ability to put the ball in the back of the net.
Head Coach Doug Carter is in his 14th season at the helm of the Timberwolves, having posted 78 victories as men’s head coach.

  Notre Dame College
  Head Coach:  Michael McBride
  (11th Season, 160-53-14)
  2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 1st (South)


Notre Dame College enters the 2012 season, after going unbeaten in 2011, with a 19-0 record.  The Falcons will be led by 11th year Head Coach, Michael “Mac” McBride.  McBride and the Falcons did not qualify for post season play a year ago, as they were in their final provisional year in the process of achieving NCAA-II status.  Mac has been at the helm for the Falcons, since the program was instituted back in 2001, and has an overall record of 160-53-14 (.704).    

The Falcons will return eight starters from a season ago, and 20 letter winners from a team that ran the table in the 2011 season.  NDC has not lost a regular season game in two years.  McBride will rely on senior midfielder Erik Beattie. The senior from Madison, Ohio, is coming off a strong 2011 season where he scored 11 goals in 15 games and tallied six game-winning goals on the season.  The Madison, Ohio, native added four assists for a total of 26 points. NDC also expects big things from senior forward Christian Earnest, who had a breakout season in 2011, scoring 14 goals while dishing out four assists. Through his 19 starts Earnest had at least a goal or assist in all but four games.


    Ohio Dominican University
    Head Coach:  Willy Merrick
    (Fifth season, 39-24-10)
    2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 2nd (South)


Ohio Dominican enters the 2012 season hoping to build on last year’s third-place finish in the GLIAC.  Head Coach Willie Merrick has guided the Panthers to an overall Division ll record of 39-24-10.

The Black and Gold will return forward Colby Catlett, a transfer from the University of Cincinnati, who played his first season as a Panther during 2011. He led all Panthers in goals scored with nine, hit two game winning goals and recorded three assists. With those stats, he finished the regular season in a tie atop the GLIAC. For his efforts on the field, Catlett was named a First Team All-GLIAC , received Daktronics Men’s Soccer All-Midwest Region first team honors and was an NCAA Division II Men-All Midwest Region selection.

Another top returner for ODU is senior midfielder Andrew Edler. Edler played and started in all 18 games for the Panthers while recording four goals, five assists and 13 points. He was selected to the all-conference second team and received NCAA Division II Men All-Midwest Region third team honors.

  Saginaw Valley State University
  Head Coach:  Cale Wassermann
  (Third season, 21-11-6)
  2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 1st (North)

Saginaw Valley State University looks to remain perched atop the conference standings in 2012 and make their second straight NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals, who won the first men’s soccer championship and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history return 12 players who started in 10 or more contests last seasoon.

Reining GLIAC “Defensive Player of the Year” Zach Myers leads a defensive unit that had the second best goals against average in the GLIAC last season. The Cardinals also return two of their leading point scorers from 2011 in Lachlan Savage and Zach Walega. Senior keeper Jason Wise also returns after notching 12 wins in his first season in the box for SVSU. Wise posted six shutouts and registered a .950 save percentage on the year.

SVSU has found its winnings ways under third-year and 2012 GLIAC “Coach of the Year” Cale Wassermann, who  owns a 21-11-6 (.649) record in his two seasons at Saginaw Valley. The Cardinals will begin the 2012 season ranked 22nd in the NSCAA D-II preseason poll.

  Tiffin University
  Head Coach:  Rudy Brownell
  (Sixth season, 59-27-7)
  2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 2nd (North)


Tiffin University’s men’s soccer team looks forward to the 2012 season under the direction of sixth-year head coach Rudy Brownell. Brownell holds a 59-27-7 career record. The Dragons won the GLIAC Men’s Soccer Tournament last season, their third tournament victory in the last four years. They finished with a 10-5-4 overall record, 5-4-3 in the GLIAC. They return 6 starters and 22 letterwinners from 2011.

The Dragons’ top returners are All-Region goalkeeper Jeremy Ashley (0.92 GAA, 127 saves) and All-GLIAC defender Ryan Johnstone (0.95 team goals allowed per game), while Edison Benda leads the returning offensive players with 1 goal and 5 assists. Emmanuel Adjei also returns with 2 goals scored in 2011.  

  Walsh University
  Head Coach: John Hall
  (Second season, 15-5)
  2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll Rank: 3rd (South)

Walsh enters its first season as a member of the GLIAC under the guidance of Head Coach John Hall, who is in his second year with the Cavaliers after leading them to a 15-5 record in 2011. Last year was one of the most successful campaigns in the team’s 40-year history, which resulted in an American Mideast Conference Championship and numerous team records broken.

The Cavs return 17 letter winners and six starters from last year. The top offensive player returning is senior forward Jordan Semple. He was the second-leading scorer on the team with six goals and five assists for
17 points. Overall, Semple took 51 shots with 26 of them on goal. He will be aided on the other side of the field by fellow senior and team co-captain Matt Bly (four goals, five assists, 13 points).

Defensively, Walsh will be lead by the other team co-captain Adam Greenwood, who is also a senior. Despite being a defender, he scored two goals and eight assists in 2011. As a result, Greenwood earned First-Team All-AMC honors. The Cavs will also return veteran goalkeeper Mike Kelley, who recorded seven shutouts with a 0.95 goals-against average and 62 saves.

Coach Hall is also very familiar with the conference as he has been named GLIAC “Coach of the Year” five times during his career as the head coach at Ashland University.

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