The Lehigh men’s soccer team has officially signed 10 incoming freshmen to their team next season. The group includes defenders Matthew Aitchison and Sam Davis, and a group of midfielders and forwards, including Beckett Wenger, Peter Tichy, Jarman Reilly, Jason Pynadath, Noah Levy, Ryan Kuldanek and Yusef Gueye. The Mountain Hawks’ final addition to the program is goalkeeper Thomas Chyzowych.
Men’s soccer coach Dean Koski said both himself and his staff are excited about this particular group of players, praising the versatility and overall skill of the incoming class.
“We really like the depth and talent of this class, they all bring something different,” Koski said. “A lot of them can play different positions which helps. I think this overall is a really good class for us. ”
Koski said a lot more goes into recruiting the right players beyond simply evaluating technical skills and raw talent.
“We’re looking for an overall fit for not just the program, but also the university,” Koski said. “We want to identify families who value education and a degree from Lehigh. But we also want kids who are driven and committed to playing Division I soccer. We do a lot of background work on character to make sure we’re recruiting the right kid to come into this program. ”
Davis said he chose Lehigh because of the school’s academics and the way Koski and associate head coach Ryan Hess treated him during his visit.
“Compared to all the other schools these coaches really showed that they cared about me and they are going to give me a good home for the next four years,” Davis said.
Davis is from Frisco, Texas, and played at Memorial High School, where he was named the Independent School District Defensive MVP for his field performance.
Davis said he is not afraid to get fierce or aggressive on the field, which he believes is one of his biggest assets as a player.
Tichy said he chose Lehigh for similar reasons to Davis’, but his personal connections to the school further pushed him to attend.
“It’s close to home, and both my parents went there, so I wanted to carry on the legacy,” Tichy said. “My club coach is also the associate (head) coach, so I had a good connection with him. Lehigh was really a good fit for me. ”
Tichy played primarily striker for Freedom High School in Bethlehem and for Lehigh Valley United, where he was coached by Hess. He had one of the best high school senior seasons of any local player, earning All-Region and All-State honors, East Penn Conference MVP, Lehigh Valley Live Player of the Year and Morning Call Player of the Year.
Coach Koski said he is hopeful that with the help of the new recruits, the team will go far in the Patriot League this upcoming season.