With the 2018 college season right around the half way point, GRFC checked in on all of our current players competing at NCAA and NAIA schools this Fall.
With Alex Mendez leaving to pursue a professional career in Guatemala and fellow GRFC Midfielder Jake Bedi graduating, the Saints have struggled this season. They currently sit at 0-10 overall and 0-4 in the WHAC. Franco Calabrese has been one of the only bright spots during this difficult campaign, starting 8 games while scoring a goal and getting an assist. AQ is back in action this Saturday at home against Lourdes University at Noon.
The Bulldogs have played a tough schedule to this point, and with Big East play starting they look like a team that could get some momentum going. Butler is better than the 2-6-2 record indicates, with hard-luck one goal games during four of the six losses. All three GRFC representatives have been big contributors this season, with Junior midfielder Derek Sutton (one goal, one assist), Senior Defender Kieran Geldenhuys (10 starts, one assist), and Freshman Forward Eric Conerty (seven starts, one goal) featuring in all ten contests. Butler has two home games in the next week with contests against Georgetown on Friday and SIU-Edwardsville on Tuesday.
The Knights are off to another fantastic start as they begin MIAA play with a 9-1 record. With a massive derby win against undefeated Hope 5-0 on Wednesday night, the Knights are off to a flying start in league play. Defender Trent Vegter has been great during the 2018 campaign, playing in all ten games and leading the side to six clean sheets while also picking up a goal and two assists. They are back home Saturday, October 13th against Adrian after road matches at Trine on Saturday and at Alma Tuesday.
Colorado Mesa University
Goalkeeper Brendan Brown recently transferred from University of the Incarnate Word to Colorado Mesa University and will not be eligible to play for the Mavericks until 2019.
The Panthers are struggling a bit in their first official year in the GLIAC, with the graduation of GRFC players Cam Cavenagh and Aaron Orban combined with injuries hitting the team early contributing to the slow start. They are currently 3-7-1 (2-4 GLIAC) with two road games coming up this weekend. Matt Whelan and Daire O’Roirdan have been bright spots for DU, with both starting all 11 matches so far. Forward Whelan has four goals and one assist this season and Midfielder O’Roirdan has chipped in with two assists while working tirelessly defensively. It’s a big weekend for the Panthers, as they travel to #22 Saginaw Valley Friday and Ashland University on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Naoya Fugono transferred to IWU for his final collegiate season after playing three years at Martin Methodist in Tennessee. The Japanese import has played in nine of the Wildcats 10 games, leading them to a 6-3-1 record so far. Fugono has a 0.862 GAA in those nine games, with a match on the road at St. Francis on tap this weekend.
The Blue Devils are off to one of the best starts in the short history of the program, posting a 6-4-1 record overall and a 3-1 mark in the WHAC. Sophomore Midfielder Adrian Miling has certainly contributed to the effort, starting seven games and appearing in eight. They will be at home twice in the next week, with matches against WHAC opponents Cleary Saturday and Rochester Wednesday.
Spring Arbor University
The Cougars are currently ranked #21 in the NAIA, and sit at 9-3 overall (3-0 Crossroads). Senior Forward Morris Kamara is in fine form, scoring 12 goals in 12 games this season. SAU picked up a big win over rival IWU Wednesday night 3-2, with Kamara scoring the second goal. They host Mt. Vernon Nazarene Saturday and then travel to Goshen College next Wednesday.
University of Michigan
Michigan is off to one of the hottest starts in school history at 8-1-1 and are currently ranked #14 in the country after a 2-1 non-conference win against Oakland University. They are also in the pole position for another Big Ten title at 3-0-1, with #2 Indiana coming to Ann Arbor for a massive match Sunday. Sophomore Midfielder/Defender Austin Swiech has been great for the Wolverines, appearing in all ten matches and starting nine while adding a goal and an assist.
Western Michigan University
The Broncos started slowly after a record-breaking 2018 campaign, and are currently 6-4-1 overall as they start play in the MAC on Saturday against West Virginia in Kalamazoo. Junior Forward Anthony Bowie has started all 11 games for WMU, scoring one goal and chipping in two assists. Sophomore Midfielder Pepe Martinez-Bertrand has been a major contributor as well, appearing in 10 games. Junior Midfielder Giuseppe Vitale has appeared in five games and has one assist on the season.
Don’t forget that 2019 season ticket packages are now available! Head to http://grandrapidsfc.com/season-tickets-2019/ and secure your spot to support the Boys and Girls in Blue next season!