Two teammates who helped John Bapst Memorial High School of Bangor reach the Class B North championship match last fall are among 15 recruits joining the Husson University men’s soccer program this season.
Alvaro Valls and Alex Mooney are part of a diversified recruiting class that that represents six countries and includes nine players with Maine connections.
The Eagles, 9-7-2 overall and 6-2-1 in the North Atlantic Conference last year, open their 2017 season Sept. 1 at Saint Joseph’s College of Standish.
“It has taken a lot of work to bring in a group of this quality,” said second-year Husson head coach Gavin Penny in a release. “Countless hours on the phone, at the fields, in the freezing cold. However, it has been worth it to secure commitments from all these young men. The team now feels like my own and will allow me to get them to play the way we want to play.”
Valls, a striker born in Valencia, Spain, earned All-Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference recognition as a junior at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro in 2015 and was named the Penobscot Valley Conference player of the year after leading John Bapst in scoring last fall.
Mooney, a central defender for the Crusaders, earned All-PVC honors as John Bapst earned the No. 1 seed in Class B North and finished 15-2.
Among other newcomers to the Husson roster are two Hampden Academy products. They are junior Paxton Oversmith of Hampden, a transfer from Dean College in Massachusetts, and sophomore goalie Kyle Townsend, who as a freshman played at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine where he compiled a 1.05 goals against average in six matches.
Other Maine-based recruits are Spencer Miranda, a four-year starting midfielder at Winslow High School (16 goals, 25 assists last year) who led the Black Raiders to the Class B North title; and Takyh-D’Nye-Jha Sharrieff-Hayward, a native of Devonshire, Bermuda, who played on back-to-back undefeated Class C state championship teams at Washington Academy of East Machias in 2015 and 2016.
Mike Wong, a junior from Lewiston, is returning to soccer after spending the last two years focusing on baseball at Husson, while Jamahl Williams, who played four years of high school soccer at Foxcroft Academy as well as four years of club soccer, also is joining the program.
Bryce Hayman, a four-year starter and two-year captain at Gray-New Gloucester as well as a three-time all-conference player and two-time All-Southern Maine State Team honoree, suffered an injury last spring and will serve as a team manager as he continues his rehabilitation, Penny said.
Other newcomers are Nathan Firlings of Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Connecticut; Rafael Paganoni of Sao Paolo, Brazil; Richard Faria of Hicksville, New York; Ahmed Abdeaziz, a native of Cairo, Egypt, who played the last two years at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, New Hampshire; Jomei Bean-Lindo, a former Bermuda national team member and a four-year varsity player at Wilbraham (Massachusetts) Monson Academy; and Nikoloz Bulashvili, a goalkeeper from Tbilisi, Georgia, who Penny said has been a consistent member of that country’s national teams since 2012.