Ryan Carmichael has returned to score more goals for Hofstra. (Photo courtesy of Hofstra)
Coming off an 18-2-2 season, an NCAA Division I third round appearance and a final 13th national ranking, the Hofstra University men enters the 2022 season with lofty expectations.
Those expectations, coupled with their success last season, has resulted in a No. 17 preseason ranking by the United Soccer Coaches. The preseason ranking is the first in program history. The 2016 team did receive two votes in the initial rankings before the 2016 campaign.
The Pride return a great deal of experience from last season’s team with eight starters back, including All-American Hendrik Hebbeker, the nation’s leading scorer Ryan Carmichael, Colonial Athletic Association rookie of the year Mason Tatafu, and All-Colonial Athletic Association first team goalkeeper Wessel Speel, who has backstopped the Long Island Rough Riders into the USL League Two final.
Hofstra, the CAA defending champions, opens preseason training under the direction of 34-year head coach Richard Nuttall on Tuesday, Aug. 9. The regular season begins Thursday, August 25 vs. Fordham University.
Defending national champion Clemson University is ranked first in the poll followed by Georgetown University and NCAA runner-up University of Washington. Notre Dame and Oregon State round out the top-five.
St. John’s received votes in the poll.
The Red Storm is coming off a season that featured 11 wins on its way to the program’s 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 30 years. The Johnnies advanced in the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time, defeating Princeton, 1-0, in the opening round at Belson Stadium before falling to top-seeded Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore.
Three Johnnies earned first team All-Big East honors, including Brandon Knapp, who will return for a fifth season after leading the team with five goals and six assists in 2021. In total, the Red Storm will welcome back 57 percent of its scoring from last season’s NCAA Tournament squad.
St. John’s is one of three Big East teams to earn votes in the preseason poll from United Soccer Coaches. That included Georgetown, while Providence sits at no. 16. The Red Storm’s non-conference opponents Indiana University (13) and FIU (18) also rank among the preseason top 25.
The Red Storm will open the 2022 season on Aug. 25 when it travels to Monmouth for a 7 p.m. kickoff in West Long Branch, N.J. The Johnnies will begin their home slate on Aug. 29 at Belson against FIU.