HIGH POINT, N.C. – The 2013 High Point University men’s soccer recruiting class has been ranked 24th in the nation by College Soccer News in the website’s 2013 Top 40 Recruiting Classes released on Monday. It is the first time that an HPU recruiting class has been listed among the top 40 by College Soccer News.
“This ranking represents an important step in the progression of our program as we continue going after elite national recruits,” head coach Dustin Fonder said. “It is a credit to the hard work put in by our recruiting coordinator EJ O’Keeffe and the entire HPU men’s soccer staff. This class was critical after losing an excellent 12-person senior class last season and will be the foundation of our program moving forward.”
High Point’s 2013 recruiting class slots ahead of classes from such soccer powerhouses as SMU, Ohio State, New Mexico, Charlotte, Penn State and Creighton in the College Soccer News rankings.
The incoming Panther class includes two of College Soccer News’ 2013 Top 150 recruits, midfielder Tony Murrillo, a member of the US U-18 National Team, and defender Dolu Oyewole. HPU also brought in junior defender Sonny Mukungu from NC State where he was an ACC All-Freshman team member in 2010.
The rest of High Point’s 2013 class is comprised of goalkeeper Ryan Massey, defender Jonathan Ware, midfielders LoLo Lauture, Renato Punyed, Chris Ramsell, Brandon Sloan, Duvan Vasquez Ortiz and Colscon Wiley and forwards Matt Gweh, Zane Laughery, Yosef Teffera and Joe Tingey. The Panthers also added junior midfielders Dom de Aragao and Josh de Aragao from Mount St. Mary’s.
UCLA’s 2013 recruiting class was picked as the best in the country ahead of Virginia, Maryland, Georgetown and Connecticut. North Carolina, Indiana, Michigan, Wake Forest and Furman round out the top 10.
High Point’s 2013 recruiting class is a continuation of a recent history of strong recruiting by the Panthers. In the past four years, HPU has had three Big South Freshman of the Year winners and three Freshman All-Americans including Shawn Sloan who now plays with the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer.
The Panthers return five starters from last year’s squad which finished 12-5-3 and earned the program’s first-ever NSCAA national ranking. Among the returners are leading scorer and first-team All-Conference selection Mamadee Nyepon, Big South Freshman of the Year and starting goalkeeper Kody Palmer and All-Conference selection Adam Sewell.
High Point will play exhibition games at home against NC State (Aug. 17) and on the road at Appalachian State (Aug. 24) before opening the regular season against Old Dominion at the VCU Rams Classic in Richmond, Va., on Aug. 30.