When a college soccer season rolls around, coaches find themselves wondering who their leaders are going to be. Those searching thoughts tend to settle on seniors, and for good reason. They’ve experienced the rigors of conference play, are seasoned veterans off the college game, and tend to best grasp the team’s tactics/system.
Mindful of all that, which seniors could have a profound impact across New England’s Division 3 soccer landscape in 2018?
The below 22 players, as sorted by program, are ones to keep an eye out for.
Midfielder/Defender | Old Lyme, Conn.
Nguyen is one of the most-influential players in the NESCAC, one who took home Second Team All-New England honors after starting 12 games for the Mammoths in 2017. He’s an alum of Choate Rosemary Hall, a prep school based in Connecticut.
Midfielder | London, United Kingdom
After starting a combined 14 games as an underclassman, this Deerfield Academy alum started 13 contests in 2017 to the tune of five goals and one assist. His best days are still ahead of him.
Defender | Meriden, N.H.
This former Kimball Union Academy player has earned All-NEWMAC honors the last two seasons. He’s started 53 games across the last three seasons, bagging four goals and six assists along the way.
Midfielder | Hampden, Maine
Parker, a Hamden Academy alum, took home Second Team All-NEWMAC honors in 2017 after posting three goals and eight assists out of the midfield.
Midfielder | New York, New York
Niang is a three-year starter for the Polar Bears, one who’s amassed 12 goals and three assists throughout that span. He took home First Team All-New England and First Team All-NESCAC honors in 2017.
Defender | Victoria, British Columbia
McColl has started a combined 32 games across the last two seasons for Bowdoin, chipping in nine assists along the way. He’s now taken home Second Team All-NESCAC honors two years in a row.
Midfielder | Oakdale, Conn.
Handler came into his own in 2017, starting 22 games and scoring three times for a Judges team that made the Final Four for the second year in a row. This coming season, he’ll be one of many charged with lessening the loss of three-time All-American midfielder Josh Ocel (North Attleboro, Mass.).
Forward | Norfolk, Mass.
Allen, an alum of King Phillip High School, has put up a combined 10 goals and six assists across the last two seasons. He’s a reliable option up top for the Judges, who routinely challenge for the UAA crown.
Midfielder/Forward | Peabody, Mass.
Manoogian has come into his own the last two seasons, putting up 14 goals and six assists in 32 starts. He’s coming off a First Team All-New England and First Team All-NESCAC campaign.
Forward | Glastonbury, Conn.
Lockwood, an Avon Old Farms alum, saw his 2017 season cut short to nine games, but is a dangerman when he’s fully healthy. He’s scored 16 goals and chipped in seven assists across the last three years.
Midfielder | Chelsea, Mass.
Martinez was named a Third Team All-New England midfielder and First Team All-Conference midfielder in 2017. He’s one of the Little East’s top midfielders, one who’s started 52 of 56 games the last three seasons.
Midfielder | New York, New York
O’Grady is a three-year starter for the Panthers, and has put up 11 goals and 12 assists across that span. He took home Second Team All-New England and Second Team All-NESCAC honors in 2017.
Rhode Island College
Midfielder | Providence, R.I.
Vazquez is coming off a First Team All-Little East season in which he put up eight goals and five assists. The smaller, creative midfielder has 15 goals and 21 assists throughout his Minutemen career.
Forward | Douglas, Mass.
Schneider has earned All-NEWMAC honors two years in a row. He has 15 goals and 25 assists throughout his career with the Pride.
Midfielder | Concord, Mass.
Arroyo was named to the Third Team All-New England and First Team All-NEWMAC squads in 2017. He’s a Concord-Carlisle High School alum who’s started 53 games the last three seasons, scoring two goals and adding eight assists along the way.
Defender | Corona, California
Gaumer, a First Team All-New England in 2017, is one of the region’s top defenders. The reigning GNAC Defensive Player of the Year helped the Monks post a 0.05 goals against average last season.
Goalkeeper | Manchester, Conn.
Mullen, who stands at a towering 6-foot-7, has 28 career shutouts for the Monks. He’s the reigning GNAC Goalkeeper of the Year and a Second Team All-New England member.
Forward | Mahopac, New York
Mattos has dominated the GNAC the last three seasons, scoring 39 goals and handing out 18 assists in 63 starts. That stretch, in 2017, placed him to First Team All-New England honors.
Defender | Cape Elizabeth, Maine
This Phillips Exeter alum will be leaned upon heavily in 2018 to help lead a Jumbos’ back line which allowed 0.09 goals per game last season. Weatherbie is a two-year starter for Tufts, plus earned Third Team All-New England honors in 2017.
Goalkeeper | Montclair, New Jersey
It took about two-and-a-half seasons, but Mieth finally made the Tufts’ starting goalkeeper spot his own in late October 2018. That helped power the Jumbos to an Elite Eight berth, where they ultimately fell to Brandeis.
Midfielder | Pawtucket, R.I.
Martinez-Paiz, a Berkshire School alum, has just four goals and three assists in his last fully healthy seasons, but is still a constant threat on offense. He earned Second Team All-NESCAC honors in 2017.
Midfielder | Scituate, Mass.
It was a down 2017 season for Wheaton, but Wait was a consistent positive mark, putting up four goals and five assists en route to a Second Team All-NEWMAC spot. He’ll be leaned upon heavily as the Lyons rebuild under new head coach Bryan Waggoner.