Feb. 4, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame men’s soccer head coach Bobby Clark has announced the signing of five players to national letters of intent. The talented class will be eligible to play for the Fighting Irish beginning in the fall of 2011.
The five student-athletes hail from five different states. Comprising the Notre Dame men’s soccer 2011 signing class are: midfielder/defender Nick Besler (Overland Park, Kan.), forward Vince Cicciarelli (Peoria, Ill.), midfielder Robby Gallegos (Aptos, Calif.), midfielder/forward Max Lachowecki (Evansville, Ind.) and midfielder Brendan Lesch (Westport, Conn.).
Besler, Cicciarelli, Lachowecki and Lesch all were named 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Americans. Gallegos was not eligible to be an NSCAA All-American since he did not compete with his high school team.
“This is another very, very strong class for us,” states Clark. “It’s a group that we really wanted and a group that we know well. All five of them have attended our elite camp so we’ve been able to see them up close for a week. We feel this group covers a lot of the areas that we need replacement. We also feel that they are good people. I always say that you recruit good people and if they’re good soccer players that’s even better. In this case we have five very good people and five very good soccer players.”
Name – Position – Height – Weight – Hometown/High School – Club
Nick Besler – M/D – 6-0 – 160 – Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West – KCFC Rangers 92-93′
NSCAA All-American (2010) … NSCAA 2010 Kansas Player of the Year … ESPNRise.com 2010 fall All-America team … 2010 Kansas City Metro Player of the Year … two-time Eastern Kansas League Offensive Player of the Year (2009 & 2010) … four-year varsity letterwinner at Blue Valley West … as a senior, tallied a school-record 27 goals and also had nine assists … registered a school-record 47 career goals in addition to posting 24 assists … helped the 2010 team to a 20-1 record and the Kansas 6A state title … the 2010 team was ranked No. 12 nationally according to the NSCAA and ESPNRise.com Fab 50 … captained his high school squad during his senior campaign … four-time Kansas State Cup champion (2005-09) with his KCFC Rangers 92-93′ squad … five-time captain of his club team … U.S. Olympic Development Program Region II 93′ Regional Team in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was the team captain in `09 and `10 … U.S. Youth Soccer Region II regional qualifier (2005-10) … U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Finalist in 2008 and Midwest Region League champion that same season … attended the Notre Dame Elite Soccer Camp in 2008, 2009 and 2010 … selected to the Notre Dame Elite Soccer Camp All-Star Team in 2009 … older brother Matt played at Notre Dame from 2006-09 and was an All-American and an Academic All-American.
Clark on Besler: “Nick has a lot of ability and skill. We kind of view him as a legacy because of his brother Matt playing here for us. His brother was a very good player, but I guess Nick broke all of Matt’s records in high school. I think Nick will be further along as a freshman since he’s had a big brother show him how things are done.”
Vince Cicciarelli – F – 6-2 – 205 – Peoria, Ill./Peoria Notre Dame – SLSG Metro Academy
NSCAA All-American (2010) … first team ESPN Rise All-American (2010) … 2010 Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association (IHSSCA) Illinois Player of the Year … IHSSCA All-State (2009 & 2010) … ESPN RISE National Player of the Week (October 6, 2010) … Chicago Tribune First Team All-State (2010) … two-time Peoria Journal Star Player of the Year (2009 & 2010) … three-time Peoria Journal Star First Team All-Area (2008-10) … four-time Mid-State 6 First Team All-Conference (2007-10) … member of SLSG Metro Academy U-17/18 (U.S. Development Academy) … four-year varsity starter at Peoria Notre Dame … tallied 96 goals and 51 assists during his prep career … high school squad reached No. 4 in the 2010 NSCAA national rankings … two-time Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class 2A state champion (2008 & 2010) … 2009 state runner-up.
Clark on Cicciarelli: “Vince is a big lad who has so much potential. He reminds me of Bright Dike (a Notre Dame player from 2005-09) with his power and strength. He scored 90-plus goals in high school and was the Illinois player of the year. I think the exciting thing for him is that he still has so much room to grow. With his speed and size, he could be one of the best forwards the BIG EAST has seen in some time.”
Robby Gallegos – M – 5-9 – 140 – Aptos, Calif./Bellarmine – De Anza Force
Ranked as a top-20 regional player to watch in Northern California and Hawaii for the class of 2011 … started for the De Anza Force U18’s during his junior and senior seasons … he was unable to play for his high school team during his junior and senior years due to conflicts with the U.S. Soccer Academy scheduling … played for his high school varsity squad (Bellarmine) as a sophomore … Bellarmine won the WCAL and CCS championships during his sophomore season … became a starter for the De Anza Force U16’s as a sophomore … as a freshman, he joined the Bellarmine freshman team in addition to playing with the De Anza Force U16’s.
Clark on Gallegos: “We saw Robby play as a freshman and thinking he was so skilled for somebody his age. He has such a nice touch on the ball and he feels the game very well and he keeps the ball. He did all the same things when he came to camp here. He’s not the biggest player, but a lot will depend on how he develops physically. He doesn’t need to get bigger, but when he grows into his body I feel he has all the tools to be a very, very good midfielder.”
Max Lachowecki – M/F – 5-10 – 155 – Evansville, Ind./Reitz Memorial – Indiana United Academy
NSCAA All-American (2010) … NSCAA/adidas High School All-Region IV (2009, 2010) … four-year starter … led high school team in scoring his final three seasons … tallied 79 goals and 37 assists … three-time first-team all-state (2008-10) … ESPN Rise High School Top 40 Players to watch (2009 & 2010) … ESPN Rise Player of the Week (2009) … three-time Academic All-State (2008-10) … two-time metro player of the year (2009 & 2010) … two-time state champion (2007 & 2008) … 2010 state finalist … invited to U15 Boys National Team training camp in 2007 … Region II ODP Boys 92 Team (2007, 2008, 2009) … the 2009 ODP squad played in Argentina … named to ODP Interregional Supergroup All-Star Teams in 2008 and 2009 … Indiana ODP 1992 state team (2006-09) … two-time ODP National Champions with Indiana ’92 (2008 & 2009) … Indiana State Cup champions in 2009 and 2010 with FC Evansville … current plays with the Indiana United Academy.
Clark on Lachowecki: “We’ve seen Max play several times and feel he’s a very good player. He’s is a left-footed player with good speed. He moves well with the ball. He’s a midfielder/forward and he can attack, but he can play anywhere. It’s great to have someone with a left foot. He gives the team a nice balance on the left side.”
Brendan Lesch – M – 6-0 – 175 – Westport, Conn./Staples – Beachside SC
NSCAA All-American (2010) … 2010 Connecticut Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) Connecticut High School Player of the Year … two time All-State and all New-England selection … four-year varsity starter … state championship tournament MVP … league championship tournament MVP … captain of high school squad during his senior season.
Clark on Lesch: “Brendan has been coming to our camp for a while. He’s strong and will play in an attacking role. He has a lot of ability to play a lot of different positions. He’s very powerful and has a very determined personality. I think he’ll bring a lot of leadership as he grows into our program.”
2011 University of Notre Dame Men's Soccer Letter of Intent Signees
NAME POS. HT. WT. HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL/CLUBNick Besler M/D 6-0 160 Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West/KCFC Rangers 92-93'Vince Cicciarelli F 6-2 205 Peoria, Ill./Peoria Notre Dame/SLSG Metro AcademyRobby Gallegos M 5-9 140 Aptos, Calif./Bellarmine/De Anza ForceMax Lachowecki M/F 5-10 155 Evansville, Ind./Reitz Memorial/Indiana United AcademyBrendan Lesch M 6-0 175 Westport, Conn./Staples/Beachside SC