If you haven’t had a chance to read about the returning guys on the Marquette men’s soccer roster this fall, then y’all need to go do that ASAP if not sooner. This edition of the 2023 season preview is talking about the new faces on the roster. We’re going to start with the two transfers on the team, as I’m writing this the morning after Marquette’s exhibition contest with Northwestern, and we learned some maybe useful information about the current composition of the roster as a result of that match. From there, we’ll move on to the freshmen, and they’ve been broken up into position groups.
This is the most important spot to start, at least based on what I witnessed in the scrimmage against Northwestern on August 11th. For whatever it’s worth, both Dominik Danis (#23, 6’4”, Defender, Banovce nad Bebravou, Slovakia) and Adrian Lara (#18, 6’0”, Defender, Joliet, Illinois) started for Marquette in that contest against the Wildcats. Does that mean any guarantee of anything in two weeks when it counts for real? No, of course not, but that starting 11 looked an awful lot like the one I would have expected Bennett to put on the field. Mix that with the individual situations for these two men, and it makes sense that they would be starting.
Danis comes to Marquette after three seasons at Nebraska-Omaha. He was an immediate starter out of the gate for the Mavericks, and kept that spot for all 43 matches during his time there, including when they went to the NCAA tournament in the timeshifted spring 2021 campaign. Danis was also used to playing the full 90 minutes, going the distance 37 times. Lara is on his bonus season of eligibility after playing at Northern Illinois for the past four years. Same as Danis, it was nothing but starts across the board for the Huskies, and Lara logged at least 1,200 minutes in each of his four years. Lara helped NIU win a MAC regular season and tournament title in 2021, and so he has NCAA tournament experience as well.
Since we started talking about defenders with Danis and Lara, we may as well start there for the first year players. Ben Harcourt-Harrison (#21, 6’3”, Plymouth, England) is the only freshman defender on the team, and with the transfers used to logging heavy minutes, this may turn into a developmental year more than anything else for him. Hailing from England, it’s a little hard to get a read on the accomplishments listed in Harcourt-Harrison’s official team bio, but serving as team captain and his coaches tabbing him as player of the year in his final year of secondary school seems pretty good.
While we’re on this end of the field, we may as well check in with the lone freshman goalkeeper on the roster. Renan Salum (#31, 6’1”, Sao Paulo, Brazil) came in at halftime in the exhibition against Northwestern, subbing in for starter Ludwig Malberg who had played the entire first 45 minutes. Does this officially make him Marquette’s #2 keeper behind Malberg? Does this just mean that the coaching staff wanted a closer look at Salum since he’s the only keeper who wasn’t on the roster a year ago? Hard to say, at least at this point of the proceedings, but Marquette needs better goalkeeping than they got a year ago, and if Salum can deliver that, then the minutes should go to him.
Marquette has a trio of freshman midfielders on the roster this fall. Jonathan Monreal-Herrera (#29, 5’6”, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) has the nicest looking team bio in terms of accomplishments to his name. He was a big part of bringing a 2022 state title to Cristo Rey High School here in town, and Monreal-Herrera picked up Second Team All-State honors for his play that season. He also chipped in on state titles for his club team in 2021 and 2022, and you’ll notice I got through all of this without mentioning any offensive numbers for him. That’s fine, that’s how that goes for midfielders sometimes.
I’d say that Matthew Iriarte (#14, 5’6”, Flushing, New York) has the next most interesting team bio, as he was the captain of his U19 club team that played on the MLS Next circuit. They won regional championships at the U17 and U19 levels, and that sounds pretty good. Iriarte didn’t play much for his high school team, which is how these things seem to be trending. Serving as a team captain for an MLS Next squad sounds pretty impressive, though.
Nico Pendleton (#22, 5’11”, Shawnee, Kansas) won a Kansas 6A state title in his only year of high school soccer as the team went 17-1-1. Seems good. He spent most of his high school years in the Sporting Kansas City II program, which probably made him a better soccer player even though he had just two appearances for the club. That means he was training at the third tier of American soccer, and if I had to guess, I’d imagine that his lack of appearances on the field for SKCII helped push him towards a collegiate soccer track.
The three freshman forwards on the Marquette roster this fall all come in with some pretty notable accolades in their past. Brentell Handley (#12, 5’11”, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin) just finished up breaking the Menomonee Falls High School team record for goals in a four year career, and also picked up all-state honors during his senior season. Ryan Amond (#27, 5’10”, Green Bay, Wisconsin) hails from a little bit further north, but he picked up two all-state honorable mention awards in his three years of soccer at Bay Port High School. He was also conference Player of the Year as a junior and won a state title with his club team in 2022. On one hand: troubling that there’s no mention of his scoring proficiency in his team bio. On the other hand: two-time all-state honorable mention.
We round out the group with Antonio Costabile (#28, 5’11”, Bartlett, Illinois), who is actually a Marquette soccer legacy. Santo Costabile, Antonio’s father, was on the MU roster between 1994 and 1997. The younger Costabile was a four year letter winner at his high school, but it’s his time with the Sockers FC club at the MLS Next level that’s of note. He led the U19 team in assists in both 2021-22 and 2022-23, which is particularly notable because that means he was playing up a little bit and excelling while doing so. In 2022-23, Costabile tallied up 14 goals and 13 assists for Sockers, which leads us to believe that he’s a dangerous offensive threat both aiming to score and also looking to set up his teammates as well.