JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Part one of the three-part Carson-Newman men's soccer position previews will break down the goalkeeping and defense for the Eagles with senior James Ward (Truro, England).
Starting in net, the Eagles return three goalkeepers and welcome a new keeper into the fold to create an extremely competitive preseason competition.
The Eagles welcome back 2014 starter Kavi Luchowa (London, England) as well as junior Samuel Hays (Rochester, N.Y.) and redshirt freshman Luke Greer (Northampton, England). Luchowa appeared in 14 games last season with 13 appearances coming in the Starting XI. Over a five-game stretch during the season, Luchowa did not allow a goal for 340 minutes and he recorded three consecutive shutouts against Catawba, Trevecca Nazarene and Brevard. Hays did not play during the season and Greer redshirted.
Coming to Carson-Newman for the first time this season will be Casper Nyberg (Kalmar, Sweden). Nyberg recorded eight shutouts and guided his high school program to a district championship in 2012.
"Kavi, Luke and Sam all played last year. Kavi was sort of the main starter of the team. I think what he will bring is the experience and the knowledge to help the other boys progress and develop," Ward said. "We have one new keeper this year, Casper. From what I've seen of him, recruiting wise, he is looking good. I think he will bring a new aspect to the team. He's a tall boy. He's got big build and I think he will be really good. And I think all those keepers can challenge for the starting position."
Moving to the defensive backline, there will a mixture of newcomers and returners for coach Richard Moodie's squad. Joining Ward will be sophomore Colton Seale (Jefferson City, Tenn.), senior Samuel Amure (London, England) and senior Alex White (Glasgow, Scotland). Ward is the most-capped returner after making 17 appearances during the 2014 season. He tallied a goal on the road against Newberry and at home against Anderson. White appeared in 11 matches with six starts before an injury shortened his season. Seale and Amure saw limited playing time last season with each making three appearances.
Sophomore Thibeault Mathorez (Graces, France) and freshmen Jonathan Hodge and Stephen Parry will be joining the competition for playing time in the back-four.
"There is going to be a lot of competition. Regardless if I'm the captain or I played last year, I don't think my position is even safe. I don't think White's place is even safe," Ward said. "We signed two new defenders, a center back and a left back, and from what I've seen, recruiting wise again, it's looking good and it's going to tough for us."
Part two of the position preview will be released next Wednesday and will feature the Eagles' midfield.