After getting off to a hot start with three straight wins in Ivy play, the men’s soccer team had a disappointing finish to 2011 with three ties and one loss in its last four games. Going into its final match against Columbia, the Red still had hopes of winning its first Ivy Championship since 1995 after Brown and Dartmouth tied earlier in the day. However, a 1-1 tie with the Lions left them just one goal shy of an Ivy title.
Coming off a season marked with success, the Red returns three seniors and two of its top three leaders in points — juniors Patrick Slogic and Daniel Haber. Slogic, who earned All-Ivy honors last year, has made the 2012 Hermann Trophy Watch List. The Trophy is the highest individual award in college soccer and Slogic is the only Ivy League athlete who has earned a spot on the list. As a defender, Slogic tallied eight points on the season with three goals and two assists.
The squad had its best season of conference play since 1995, totaling 12 points in Ivy matchups. The Red also had a stretch of 13 games without a loss — the longest streak in the team’s history. Senior goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer — who led the Ivy League with a goals against average of .598 — returns to anchor a Red defense which led the conference with 13 goals allowed.
The Red has also secured a strong recruiting class made up of six freshmen — featuring four midfielders, one defender and one forward. Forward Gregory Antognoli — the No. 94-ranked soccer recruit in the country according to CollegeSoccerNews.com — will strengthen the Red’s attack this season. Aside from playing for a select SuperElite squad which traveled to Europe, Antognoli was also the only high school player on the roster of the USL Premier Development League’s Fresno Fuego.
Antognoli will be joined by midfielders Max Brashear, Ben Feldman, Simba Meki and Sanath Shettigar. Brashear — the No. 106 recruit in the country — and Shettigar were both chosen to attend the US Soccer Market Training Centers. Feldman and Meki were captains of their respective high school and club teams.
Skyler Erickson, the sixth freshman on the roster, will help to bolster an already strong Red defense. Erickson was the captain of the Colorado Rush in the USSF Development Academy and scored the game-winning goal in the derby game against the Colorado Rapids.
With a sophomore and junior heavy team, the Red seniors will lead a squad mixed with old and new faces. The 2012 season will kick off in California on Aug. 31 with games against Cal State Fullerton and Loyola Marymount. The Red then returns to Ithaca on Sept. 9 for a matchup with Buffalo. The squad will also host the CU Inaria Classic this year, where it will take on Vermont and Wofford on Sept. 14 and 16, respectively. Ivy play starts on Sept. 29 at Berman Field where the Red will take on Penn.