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There are good players in high school soccer; you just have to know where to look. UC Santa Barbara’s coaching staff honed in on Cate School, a small local boarding school, and plucked a top prospect from there in 2012 with Gatorade Boys Soccer National Player of the Year Emmanuel Boateng.
The Gauchos returned to the pipeline for their latest recruit of the 2015 class with left winger Geoffrey Acheampong. The fellow Right to Dream graduate is a dynamic attacking talent who has a cannon for a left foot.
Acheampong has been one of the top players in Southern California high school soccer since his arrival in the States in 2011. The Cate School standout drew the attention of a number of top universities due to the quality he has shown during that time.
“Before my commitment to UCSB, I considered a couple schools on the East coast like Dartmouth, Penn, and North Carolina(m),” Acheampong said. “However, from the beginning I had my eyes fixed on staying in California so schools like UCLA(m), UCSB, Cal Poly and Cal State Nothridge(m) were schools that attracted a lot of my interest as a result of their amazing programs.”
Acheampong's bond with UCSB and the community helped the Gauchos land the attacking talent's commitment.
“In the long run, I decided UCSB was the right fit for me because of my relationship with the coaching staff and how familiar I was with the Santa Barbara community,” he said. “I was looking for a program that will enable me to exploit my soccer abilities to the fullest and also have the chance to acquire a college degree in a great environment.”
Acheampong is third verbal commit to the Gauchos as he joins an impressive class that includes talented goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg and creative attacking talent Kostandin Moni.
One of the most exciting stories of the 2013-14 Development Academy season has been Bethesda-Olney U18’s dominance in its debut season. Bethesda-Olney holds a 23-2 record heading into the DA playoffs next weekend, and sits as the No. 1 team based on points per game.
Nolan Axenfeld, one of the keystone figures of that Bethesda-Olney squad, recently made his verbal commitment to Virginia Tech.
“I decided Virginia Tech was the right place for me after visiting multiple times and getting to know the coaches and players,” Axenfeld said. “I knew I wanted to play in the ACC and after visiting Virginia Tech I immediately fell in love with everything about the school.”
Axenfeld is the first verbal commitment for the 2015 class for the Hokies.
With him, comes a winning pedigree as Axenfeld has been part of the very successful Bethesda-Olney side that has dominate on every stage of the youth soccer pyramid. The midfielder attributes the recent success of his club side to familiarity and hard work.
“The key to Bethesda-Olney's success in the Development Academy this season has been a combination of talented players who have been playing together for a very long time,” Axenfeld said. “And the pure dedication and good work ethic of every single one of those players.”
Axenfeld believes he will contribute to the Hokies as either a center midfielder or an outside midfielder.