BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off a 12-win season that included a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season championship in 2018, the Babson College men's soccer team is primed to carry on its tradition of success this fall.
WHAT TO KNOW
The Beavers went unbeaten in league play (5-0-2) for the first time since 2012 and ended the year with an overall record of 12-3-4 after suffering a 1-0 loss to Springfield in the NEWMAC Tournament final last November. Head coach Jon Anderson '75, who is one of just seven active Division III coaches with 400 wins, brings back 21 players from a squad that narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament in 2018.
IN GOOD HANDS
Senior goalkeepers Steven Heintzelman (Middleton, Mass.) and Austin Mankouski (Suffield, Conn.) helped the Green and White post historic defensive numbers last fall. The duo's 11 shutouts are the program's most in over a decade, and the team's 0.55 goals against average was the lowest since 1991. Heintzelman earned all-conference honors after going 9-3-4 with a 0.59 goals against average and nine clean sheets in 16 starts, while Mankouski conceded just one goal in three starts and has gone 5-1-1 with five shutouts in seven career starts for the Beavers.
The senior trio of Alex Crompton (Killington, Vt.), Chris Czarnecki (Baltimore, Md.) and Youcef Ziad (Holbrook, Mass.) combined for over a third of Babson's goals last year and will be looked upon to both create and finish scoring chances this fall. Crompton (6-3-15) was second on the squad in both goals and points last year and has put away 14 career markers, Czarnecki produced two goals and three assists a season ago, and Ziad scored twice and also owns 14 tallies in 49 career games. Along with the trio of seniors, sophomore Robert Dunne (Medway, Mass.) returns up front after scoring once in 14 matches as a first-year.
DEFENSE NEVER RESTS
In addition to its talented goalkeeping corps, Babson returns three starters on the backline, highlighted by reigning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year Liam Hanlon (Boxborough, Mass.). The sophomore center back started all 19 matches, contributing a goal and an assist for the Beavers, who conceded just 11 markers on the year. Junior Andrew Josephs (Kingston, Jamaica) and sophomore Ryan Goss (Glastonbury, Conn.) return after starting all but two games at outside back, while Evan Gaudreau (Sacramento, Calif.) and Eamon Keenan (East Greenwich, Conn.) saw action in 16 and 15 contests, respectively, last fall as rookies.
The sophomore trio of Ross Shellow (Miami, Fla.), Ben Cawood (Santa Rosa, Calif.) and Mitchell Collins (Burlington, Mass.) are back to drive a talented and deep group in the midfield. Shellow and Cawood both started 18 games as rookies, while Collins started of 12 of 19 matches and finished third on the team in scoring with two goals and four assists for eight points. Joining this trio are seniors Ben Holman (Ashland, Mass.) and Luke Beaulieu (Westfield, N.J.), who provided key leadership and energy off the bench last fall.
In addition to its veteran core of returners, the Green and White welcomes 10 first-year players and two transfers hailing from seven different states to the 2019 roster.
Along with their always challenging seven-game NEWMAC slate, the Beavers are set to face one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the region this fall. Babson visits longtime rival Brandeis and 13th-ranked Amherst in early September, and will welcome Williams, 23rd-ranked Connecticut College and defending national champions Tufts, which opens the season ranked No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches poll, to Hartwell-Rogers Field.
After moving its final six games to the turf of MacDowell Field in 2018, Babson will return to Hartwell-Rogers Field this fall. The Beavers host Western New England in their season opener on Friday.