LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Following an outstanding 13-6-1 season, the Bison men's soccer team will be fortified by the addition of seven promising newcomers in 2014. Head coach Brendan Nash will have four seniors to relace next year, including Third Team All-America fullback Mayowa Alli and two other starting defensive players in Joe Meyer and Josh Butkze. The new class will add depth all across the field.
Joining the Bison in 2014 will be Dan Bank (Armonk, N.Y./Byram Hills/Alberston Academy), Ben Derleth (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas/Empire Revolution Academy), Mike Moshier (Morristown, N.J./Delbarton/PDA McGeough), Jack Natale (Hew Hope, Pa./New Hope-Solebury/Lehigh Valley United), Jonathan Palmer (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich/New York Soccer Club), Zack Rockmore (Albany, N.Y./Bethlehem/Black Watch Premier/Boston College) and Jack Zollicoffer (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin/Carolina Rapids Academy).
“We are graduating a small senior class of four this May, therefore we were very focused in what we were looking for in this recruiting class," said Nash. "We ended up with a larger class than we anticipated, but we could not be happier with the results. Our staff knows we are looking for a certain fit to be a Bison. This class brings in some very good speed and good size. Yet, they also fit our mold of being a hard worker, with a good attitude on and off the field. In addition to these seven student-athletes, we will also be looking at some walk-ons that we know will help us down the road. We will have quite a few guys now competing for spots during preseason in August.”
Following is a closer look at Bucknell's 2014 recruits:
Dan Bank | Armonk, N.Y. | Byram Hills H.S. | Albertson Academy
Dan Bank is the No. 6-ranked recruit in the New York Region. He is a three-year member of Albertson Academy. He was named to the Top XI last summer as he helped lead his team to a fourth-place finish at the USSDA National Championships.
Nash on Bank: "Dan will do a very good job at right back for us in the future. After losing Joe Meyer to graduation we put a focus on his replacement. Dan is a very similar type of player. He is a smart, quick, technical player and will look to come forward."
Ben Derleth | Webster, N.Y. | Webster Thomas H.S. | Empire Revolution Academy
Ben Derleth has been the captain and leading scorer for his academy team for the last two years. He was also named to the Top XI this summer at the Bison Elite Camp.
Nash on Derleth: "Ben has the speed and size to score goals. However, after attending our Elite Camp this summer we realized he can play multiple positions for us. We are looking forward to finding the best spot for Ben in our system."
Mike Moshier | Morristown, N.J. | Delbarton | PDA McGeough
Mike Moshier led his high school team to back-to-back New Jersey state championships as well as the No. 1 ranking in the state (and No. 16 in the country). He was named First Team All State by the Star Ledger and the SCANJ. He was also named a Regional All-American and Morris County Player of the Year.
Nash on Moshier: "Mike brings the explosiveness that we always like in our attacking players. He reminds me a lot of Josh Plump with his speed and his ability to score goals in big games."
Jack Natale | New Hope, Pa. | New Hope-Solebury H.S. | Lehigh Valley United
Jack Natale was a four-year starter for his high school team. During that time they won four District I titles and two state titles. He was named all-league three times and was a two-year captain. He is also captain of his club team, which he has helped lead to state and Region I titles. Natale also was named to the Top XI at the Bison Soccer Camps this summer.
Nash on Natale: "Jack came to our summer camp with his high school team. We could instantly tell he was a winner and a leader. He is usually a center back, but we also feel he could do well as a right back."
Jonathan Palmer | Greenwich, Conn. | Greenwich H.S. | New York Soccer Club
Jonathan Palmer was a three-year starter for his high school team. He was twice named all-state in Connecticut. After his senior year he was named First Team All-State, Regional All-American and the MSG Connecticut Player of the Year.
Nash on Palmer: "Jonathan fits into our traditional mold for center backs. He is big, strong, athletic and, of course, good in the air."
Zack Rockmore | Albany, N.Y. | Bethlehem H.S. | Black Watch Premier | Boston College
Zack Rockmore will be transferring from Boston College with three years of eligibility remaining. In high school he was twice named First Team All-Section. He has also captained his club team to a state championship. In 2012 he was listed No. 110 on the ESPN list of Top 150 recruits.
Nash on Rockmore: "We feel very fortunate to help Zack start the second part of his college career. He was at the top of our list two years ago but decided on Boston College. Now we feel like we have a strong center back with two years of ACC-level training under his belt. Zack has the potential to make an immediate impact on the program based on his ability and maturity. He is the first transfer in our program, so we are excited to see how it plays out."
Jack Zollicoffer | Charlotte, N.C. | Charlotte Latin | Carolina Rapids Academy
Jack Zollicoffer only played high school soccer his freshman and sophomore years. Both years he was named all-conference. His last two years he moved to his academy team, where he has been captain.
Nash on Zollicoffer: "Jack is a traditional defensive center midfielder. With Josh Butzke graduating, we put this high on our needs list. Jack is a tireless worker with good size. However, the one thing that sets him apart is that he is a great teammate and leader."