JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – To build off their appearance in the ASUN Conference Championship and keep focused on leaving a legacy, more than half of Jacksonville University's men's soccer team competed in a summer league this offseason. Here's a quick check-in on how those student-athletes are doing.
"Summer teams and training is something we assist setting up for the players, however their desire to improve and grow during the summer is on them," said Head Coach Mauricio Ruiz. "We're lucky to have a group of young men that understand that there is no off-season when you are trying to achieve excellence in your sport and in life."
Patrick Harding competed with the Orange County U23 team in the Premier Development League(PDL), starting in all four of his appearances. Connar Lufkin is training with the Tampa Bay Rowdies U23 of the PDL, and Sam Gardner has appeared in two games for the PDL's K-W United.
Juan Sebastian Ramirez, playing with Beaches FC in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), scored one goal in six starts. Ramirez has played in eight games this summer. Dolphin co-captain Allan Morgan and Redondo Beauplan also played with Beaches FC. Morgan has started three of his six appearances with one assist, and Beauplan has started all four of his appearances.
Closer to home are Igor Ferreira and Cameron Grassmyer, who are playing in the Armada U23 squad, also in the NPSL. Grassmyer has two goals in his six starts, and Ferreria has played in two games. The Dolphin duo has the Armada in third place in the Sunshine Conference.
Alberto Escobedo and Dani Carapaica are participating in high level training at the soccer-specific academy Orbita Football LLC, and the final two returning Dolphin summer ball players are in the Ontario League 1. Dolphin co-captain Ignazio Muccilli has played in three games for the Woodbridge Strikers, and Ejiroghene Mrabure has four games under his belt with undefeated Sigma FC.
Seven of JU's ten offseason additions also put their skills to the test in summer ball. Freshmen Nazar Deputat, Daniel Wear, Bryson Pink, and Steven Saunders all competed with the LEG AZ U19 squad in the USYS South Regional. Their team lost in the semi-final of the USYS South Regional tournament after winning the 2017 FYSA State Cup for the second time in three years. Nicholas Reyes and Pink are training with Escobedo and Carapaica at Orbita Football LLC.
Incoming freshman goalkeeper John Pease joined future teammate Lufkin in training with the Rowdies, and transfer Lee Nicholson is playing with Durham United FA and has one goal and an assist in five appearances, all starts.