March 26, 2013
CINCINNATI - Xavier men's soccer head coach Andy Fleming officially revealed his 2013 recruiting class, which includes two All-Americans and three players recognized on top recruit lists who will join the program.
Announcing their intentions to join the Musketeers this fall are Walker Andriot, Matt Appel, Jalen Brown, Jake Ciricillo, Jonathon Otting, Todd Pratzner, Jacob Smith and Ryan Vilella. Eric Osswald, a transferd from South Florida, has been with the team since the beginning of the spring semester.
"We have a blend of local players, a transfer, some national names and perhaps one or two sleepers," Fleming said. "Their club's name and whether or not they played in the US Development Academy means very little to us. In fact we take pride in looking where others don't and trying to develop players who others won't."
The 2013 additions hope to be the fourth nationally-ranked recruiting class acquired by the fourth-year head coach. Xavier has acquired three top 40 classes including last year's 18th-ranked class by College Soccer News.
Fleming has successfully recruited two U17 national team players, three Gatorade State Players of the year and four NSCAA All-Americans.
"I'd like to commend the assistant coaches and players on a wonderful job hosting, communicating with and presenting our program to these signees," Fleming said. "Our success has allowed us to cast a slightly bigger net and attract nationwide interest. However, we've been careful to stick to our original blueprint of what makes a Xavier student-athlete. Each of these players embodies that and I want to welcome these young men and their parents into our soccer family."
Xavier is coming off a banner season which included the program's first NCAA Tournament victory and third-straight appearance into the 48-team field. Additionally the program posted a record 14 victories and set new marks for assists and total points. Individually, Luke Spencer became the first MLS Draft Pick and Nick Hagglund earned XU's first NSCAA All-American award.
The Musketeers opened a grueling spring schedule on Saturday in a 1-1 draw with Bowling Green. Xavier faces Louisville on Thursday and Indiana, Akron and Notre Dame during the exhibition season.
Walker Andriot Shelbyville, Ky. Martha Layne Collins HS United FC/River City Rovers Defender
Kentucky Youth Soccer Association State Boys Player of the Year (2012) Kentucky High School Soccer Coaches Association First Team All-State West (2011, 2012) Italy and Costa Rica trips with Region II ODP team Rated 125th in College Soccer News Top 150 2013 recruits Captain of three-time Kentucky State Cup Champion United FC club team
Personal: Born Aug. 15,1995. Son of BJ and Michele Andriot. Also visited Kentucky and Michigan State attended College Soccer 101 Camp at Xavier.
Fleming on Andriot: "Walker is considered by many to be the most consistent player in Kentucky and was a steal for us in many ways. He's comfortable as a holding midfielder and as a right back and his ability to connect the game and high passing percentage reminds many of Adar Cohen. He is the son of a coach, a soccer junkie and a scratch golfer amongst many other talents. He's a "Xavier player" thru and thru. He is a great team guy, very upbeat and will enjoy a fine career here."
Matt Appel Canal Winchester, Ohio Canal Winchester HS Columbus Crew Academy Goalkeeper
National Honor Society, Scholar Athlete Award winner Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Division I All-State Second Team (2012)
Personal: Born Feb. 17, 1995. Son of Teresa and Andy Appel. Also contacted by Denver. Discovered at Xavier's June One Day ID camp. Attended College Soccer 101 Camp in 2012.
Fleming on Appel: "Matt came out of nowhere at our ID camp last spring and then suddenly emerged on the national scene after being picked up midsummer by the Columbus Crew. He has yet to scrape his full potential and continues to grow leaps and bounds each time we see him. His quickness and athleticism give him great range to get balls out of the corners, while his feet and leadership presence continue to grow."
Jalen Brown Indianapolis, Ind. Brebuf Jesuit Indiana United Fire DA Forward
Indianapolis Star Super Team (2011) Indiana Soccer Coaches Association All-State Second Team (2011) US U15 National team training camp (2010) Region II ODP team (2010) ESPNHS Player to Watch (2012)
Personal: Born Jan. 23, 1995. Son of Tony and Lisa Brown. Father played basketball at Division III Earlham College. Attended College Soccer 101 Camp at Xavier in 2012. Also had visits with Saint Louis, Butler and Louisville.
Fleming on Brown: "Jalen is a guy who visited Xavier on his own. After his visit, we realized a national caliber talent had been on our campus. A talented basketball player, Jalen went full time with soccer just a few years ago and has emerged as a fast twitch athlete who also is smooth on the ball with creative flair. His vision, ability to slot passes, shoot from distance, play tucked in, underneath and up high make him a versatile attacking piece. He can score and create goals with flair, in the Gino DePaoli mold. Once his defensive awareness and overall consistency improve, his potential is exciting."
Jake Ciricillo Cincinnati, Ohio Sycamore HS CUP Gold Goalkeeper
Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association All-State Second Team (2012) Cincinnati Enquirer Goalkeeper of the Year (2012) Had a 0.61 goals against average in 2012 Ohio State Youth Soccer Association Champion and regional finalists with CUP (2011) National Honor Society
Personal: Born Nov. 11, 1994. Son of Brett and Missy Ciricillo. Chose Xavier over UNC Wilmington and Lipscomb. High school teammate of current Musketeer Matt Hill.
Fleming on Ciricillo: "Jake is a local product by way of Sycamore High School and Cincinnati United Premiere, giving us five CUP alums on our roster. As always we strive to keep the top talents in Cincinnati at home and we've done so with Jake. He too attended our camp last year and has a great presence to him in the goal. I label him as a leader, a winner and a consummate team guy who will ply his trade early on in his career then compete for the top spot a few years down the road."
Eric Osswald Powell, Ohio Olentangy Liberty HS/South Florida Columbus Crew Academy Goalkeeper
Spent three seasons at South Florida and recorded 6-2-4 and four shutouts in 12 All-Tournament Team at Tulsa GoldenHurricane Classic (2012) Capital One Division I All District IV team (2012) Big East All-Academic team (2010-2012) U.S. Soccer Development Academy Central Conference Starting XI goalkeeper (2010) NSCAA/adidas Boys High School Scholar All-American Scholar Team (2009)
Personal: Born Nov. 3, 1991. Son of Ann Marie Hunker and Dave Osswald. Also looked at Duke, St Johns and Georgetown. Teammate of current Xavier players Matt Hill, Matt and Will Walker and Nick Hagglund on 2011 National Champion Columbus Crew U20 team.
Fleming on Otting: "Eric is a player I knew of and recruited when I was at Northwestern. He comes to XU after playing two years at a top program in the nation's top soccer conference. He has big game experience and is a physically gifted, athletic shot stopper with strong leadership capabilities. He also is an award-winning student and certainly has fit in well with our guys since his arrival. Heading into the spring, he will look to lead what I consider to be our strongest goalkeeping group yet, challenging for our open goalkeeper spot once he gets some games with his new teammates under his belt."
Jonathon Otting Louisville, Ky. St. Xavier HS Lexington United Defender
NSCAA High School All American Watch List (2012) State champions with St. Xavier High School (2011, 2012) St. Xavier ranked second and fourth in national polls in his junior and senior year Named to Honor Roll each semester at St. Xavier
Personal: Born May 17 1995. Son of John and Pat Otting. Also looked at Colgate, Kentucky and Ohio Wesleyan. High school teammate of current Musketeer Neil Henley.
Fleming on Otting: "There's a field in the Louisville area called Seneca Park and the legend of Jon Otting is that he's there every day, regardless of the weather, with a bag of balls working on his game. As soon as I heard this story from a coach and then sensed Jon's passion for Xavier it was an easy match. We first identified him at one of our ID camps and really feel that he embodies a Xavier player and will be a future captain in the future as a gritty, physical and athletic back."
Todd Pratzner Lancaster, Pa. Hempfield HS PA Classics DA Defender
Captain of PA Classics Developmental Academy and Philadelphia Union Academy teams Trained with Philadelphia Union (Major League Soccer) reserves in 2012 133rd ranked recruit in 2013 by College Soccer News and top raked defender in Pennsylvania by Top Drawer Soccer U.S. Soccer Development Academy national championship game with PA Classics (2011) Pennsylvania AAA District State Champion (2010)
Personal: Born Aug. 10, 1994. Son of Mark and Karen Pratzner. Father was an All American soccer player at Elizabethtown (Pa.). Visited Connecticut, Georgetown and Notre Dame.
Fleming on Pratzner: "We are very excited to have Todd. He was courted by some of the top programs in the Big 10 and Big East and his verbal commitment helped our credibility in the Eastern part of the country. A proven leader and cerebral player, he has trained at a high level with the Philadelphia Union MLS reserve team each summer, rarely playing outside of himself. A born leader, Todd has the chance to possibly help our backline right away or be an heir apparent to Nick Hagglund. Either way he has a very bright future ahead."
Jacob Smith Atlanta, Ga. The Walker School HS Concorde Fire DA Utility
Georgia Class A State Champion (2011) and three-time state cup club champions Captain of Concorde Fire Academy (2011-2013) U.S. Soccer Development Academy South Conference First XI team (2012) Attended five training camps with US National teams Made three international trips with Region III ODP team 39th-rated prospect (College Soccer News) and 114th (Top Drawer Soccer) in Class of 2013
Personal: Born Jan. 26 1995. Son of Dave and Sharon Smith. Father is a native of Jamaica and competed in the 100m, 200m and 400m at University of Idaho. Brother Jordan played collegiately at Elon. Made visits to North Carolina, Indiana and Central Florida.
Fleming on Smith: "Jacob is our first-ever recruit form the Atlanta area. He is a guy who had a cup of coffee at the national tem level and was a national name on the recruiting circuit. He's a very personable young man who has a mean streak to him on the field and is a vocal teammate. One of the top athletes in the nation, he has played in both attacking and central defense positions. This pace and versatility will help as a freshman as he looks to crack the lineup in central defense or by adding depth to our attack."
Ryan Vilella Cranberry Township, Pa. Seneca Valley HS Beadling Soccer Club Midfielder
NSCAA High School All American (2012) NSCAA Pennsylvania State Player of the Year (2012) Four-year player with Region I ODP team Two regional titles and national Final Four appearances, and top five national ranking with Beadling USYSA "Best XI" at National Championships (2011, 2012)
Personal: Born May 16, 1995, son of Mark and Lynne Vilella. Attended Xavier's one-day ID camp in 2012. Chose Xavier over Duquesne and Temple.
Fleming on Vilella: "Ryan is another guy we identified through camp, who has enjoyed national success and recognition for Beadling out of the Pittsburgh area. Our fourth Pennsylvania recruit in the last three years, Ryan is a crafty and versatile midfield player who is dynamic technically and has great vision and craft on the ball. With a veteran midfield returning this year, I expect him to grow as the fall goes on, get into the best shape of his life and be a mainstay in our rotation as his career unfolds."