Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)
Conference tournament champions: Quinnipiac
Offensive Player of the Year: Franklin Castellanos, Iona College
Defensive Player of the Year: Matt Jeffery, Monmouth
Goalkeeper of the Year: Borja Angoitia, Quinnipiac
Rookie of the Year: Christian Flath, Rider
Coach of the Year: Jorden Scott, Manhattan
Team (overall, conference record)
Quinnipiac (9-5-7, 7-1-2)
Quinnipiac shared the regular season crown with Monmouth last year and then topped the Hawks in the conference title final in penalty kicks. The Bobcats lost four starters from that team, but return conference goalkeeper of the year Borja Angoitia for his final season in the MAAC. The main concern for the Bobcats coaching staff will be replacing the production of Simon Hinde and his 10-goal senior season last year. Head coach Eric Da Costa might be looking at freshman Maxamilian Rothenbuecher to step into Hinde’s spot. Rothenbuecher is a product of the Bayern Munich academy. The Bobcats handed him the No. 10 jersey for his debut campaign.
Monmouth (8-6-6, 7-1-2)
The Hawks were selected as the preseason favorites in the MAAC coaches’ poll. After coming up just short of a conference tournament title in 2013, Monmouth retooled the roster with some transfers and freshmen. St. John's transfer Miguel Alves and UC Santa Barbara transfer Dom Sarle highlight the incoming group. Sarle, a former youth national team member, is looking to make the most of his final season in the college ranks. The Hawks also bring back conference defender of the year Matt Jeffery, which should help Monmouth through the early season games. After losing five of their first eight games last season, the Hawks will be looking to get off to a better start to this campaign.
Iona College (10-6-3, 7-2-1)
The Gaels finished last season just behind Monmouth and Quinnipiac. The MAAC coaches’ preseason poll had the Gaels in the same spot for this season. Iona returns Ignacio Maganto who was voted as the preseason player of the conference. Magnato had nine goals and three assists last season. Iona also brings back midfielders Jordan Scarlett and Michael Holzer. The experience should help Iona produce one of the most dynamic attacks in the conference. Freshmen defenders Tyler Pinho and Franky Martinez are fresh off winning the Development Academy U18 National Championship with PDA in July.
Fairfield (8-5-3, 5-3-2)
While Iona tends to look toward Spain for foreign help, Fairfield clearly looks toward England. Eight players on the Fairfield roster for 2014 hail from the land of Big Ben. Jordan Ayris has been one of the most successful imports. The English forward has 16 goals over the course of his previous three seasons with Fairfield and figures to be a key part of the Stags’ 2014 campaign.
Manhattan (5-10-3, 5-3-2)
With steady improvement comes long-term gains or something of that ilk. The Manhattan Jaspers went from being on of the worst teams in Division I in 2012 (RPI No. 195) to fifth place in the MAAC in 2013 (RPI No. 155). It was a pretty impressive first year from head coach Jorden Scott, but there is still plenty of room to grow. Picking up an out-of-conference win in 2014 will be near the top of the list.
Rider (8-9-1, 3-6-1)
Peering at the Rider roster, there is plenty to be excited about for 2014. Christian Flath is back for his sophomore season after leading the Broncs in goals, assists, and points in 2013. The German midfielder showed a lot of promise as a potential star of the conference during his debut campaign. Defender Sonimi Halliday was named to the All-MAAC preseason team for this fall. Halliday started all 18 games last fall for Rider and finished the year with five goals. The coaching staff brought in a recruiting class with players from Madrid, Stockholm, and Monaco, which should help Flath in the attack.
Canisius (7-9-2, 3-6-1)
Canisius returns eight starters from 2013 squad, but lost leading scorer Will Hudson. The Griffs should benefit from the experience, but need to sort out the goalkeeper and forward position.
Siena College (7-10-1, 3-6-1)
Siena added 13 players to the roster in the offseason. Head coach Cesar Markovic seems the most excited to work with transfer Junior Rosero. “"Junior is one of the best strikers of the ball that I've ever seen at the youth level," Markovic said in a release in July. “He's an incredible addition to our program.” Rosero should have plenty of opportunities in 2014 as James Beeston, last year’s leading scorer, graduated.
Niagara (5-12-1, 3-6-1)
Niagara is not far removed from its lone NCAA appearance in 2012, but it feels like it was a long time ago. After finishing ninth in the conference in 2013, the preseason coaches’ poll pegged the Purple Eagles for 10th in 2014. Niagara returns nine starters from last season’s team, and also brought in 11 new faces. There is hope that the new recruits will bring some life to an attack that only scored 13 goals last season.
Saint Peter's (4-9-5, 2-5-3)
There’s an international flavor to the Peacocks roster for 2014 with seven different countries represented. Julian Richens’ vision for the program is still a work in progress in only his second season, but the defense did well in his first season with only 23 goals conceded. The offense needs to improve with only 13 goals scored.
Marist (3-15, 2-8)
In the offseason, head coach Matt Viggiano called for a change to the culture at Marist. The Red Foxes have suffered through two losing seasons and don’t want to run that streak to three. Viggiano will need to replace a goalkeeper, a defender, and a forward for 2014.