(Editor’s note: Carroll College athletics release)
HELENA — Carroll College men’s soccer coach Doug Mello announced the signing of nine student-athletes in his 2019 recruiting class.
The class features local talent in Montana, regional talent in Utah and California and extends to the far international reaches of South Africa, Argentina, Holland, Spain and Italy.
“The combination of these talented recruits and our seasoned upperclassmen will put the Saints on track to challenge for the Cascade Collegiate Conference title and beyond,” Mello said. “Fans should watch for our swarming, high pressure defending, ball possession build up and creative attacks on goal.”
Rory Bloy, a 6-foot-4 striker from Johannesburg, South Africa, comes to Carroll after playing at Kearsney College. He finished his senior year with five goals and six assists. He played club ball for the Dazzlers Football Club (2005-2008) and Florida Albion FC (2008-2014) before his time at Kearsney College. While with Florida Albion his team won championship cups in 2012 and 2013. He was also a member of KwaZulu-Natal’s U-19 team in 2017.
“Coach Mello showed a lot of interest in me and he’s the most experienced coach at the college level, therefore, it felt like the right decision if I wanted to better my soccer career,” Bloy said. “Carroll also has a great academic program so it bodes well for my future.”
Bloy intends to study business at Carroll College.
“I first observed Rory at the Mayor’s Cup in Las Vegas where he caught my attention by his overall play and timely goals,” Mello said. “He has a cannon of a shot along with being a poacher in the box. I expect numerous balls in the back of the net during his Saints career.”
Jeronimo Lago Huerta of Buenos Aires, Argentina, comes to Carroll after prepping at Esteban Echeverria High School. He is an accomplished attacking midfielder while playing for Uai Urquiza, a Primera B Metropolitana club in Argentina. While with Uai Urquiza, the 5-foot-7 mid won the Buenos Aires Soccer Tournament in 2014 and 2017 and was selected as the tournament’s best player in both years, too. The club selected him as its best player in 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
“Jero is going to be the perfect compliment to his colleague Santi in the middle of the pitch,” Mello said. “His top-notch ball control and speed of play will dazzle Saints fans.”
Huerta is a good friend of Saints midfielder Santiago Morazzani.
“I choose Carroll College because my best friend studies here,” Huerta said. “Also, I think this is the best college to become my best.”
He plans to study business while at Carroll.
Melle de Reuver comes to Carroll from Hilversum, Holland where he attended Alberdingk Thijm College. While playing for HCFC Victoria 1983 over the past 14 years, he’s won multiple regional championships and made two state cup final appearances, winning one with another yet to be decided. The 6-foot-3 goalkeeper will give the Saints more depth at the position.
“Enthusiastic soccer coach and a high level of education in one,” Reuver said of his decision to come to Carroll.
He enters Carroll with a 3.95 cumulative GPA and intends to study mathematics.
“Holland is noted for its quality keepers,” Mello said. “Melle has all the tools to challenge for a starting spot the moment he steps on campus. Training and playing with a high-level club and working with a pro goalie coach is a big plus for him. He is an excellent shot blocker and leader in the back.”
Keegan Lyons, a 6-foot-3 center back from Encinitas, California, will join the Saints after playing for Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, California. Canyon Crest played in the highest division in California soccer and posted a 5-3-2 record with a ranking of sixth in San Diego County. He also played for LA Galaxy Dan Diego since he was 10 years old. He served as the team captain of the club, too.
“I chose Carroll because I wanted a smaller school where I would be able to get a great education and play the sport I love,” Lyons said. “I also really like the family feeling you get when you step on campus.”
He was acknowledged on the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic Team his junior and senior seasons. He held a 3.5 cumulative GPA and plans to study business while at Carroll.
“Keegan came out to our ID camp and knocked it around with us at practice,” Mello said. “He immediately impressed with his tenacious defending and deft passing. Keegan is an impact central defender who’s dangerous in the air on set pieces.”
Javier Rodriguez is a 5-foot-8 right back from Madrid, Spain. He played at Los Sauces-La Moraleja prior to coming to Carroll. With a little more than two weeks left in his senior season, Rodriguez has put together 18 starts on the pitch and scored a goal. He’s played for the Juventud Sanse since 2010. He’s been a part of a U19 team that’s been awarded the most points in its history.
“I have chosen Carroll College due to the importance of the honors scholar program and the close proximity of the staff from the soccer team, despite being so far from Carroll,” Rodriguez said.
He holds a 3.77 cumulative GPA and intends to study business and economics.
“Javi is a cheeky outside mid and defender who can cross the ball on a dime,” Mello said. “His movements with and without the ball create goal scoring opportunities. Our attack will be more potent with him on the pitch.”
Robin Erickson comes to Carroll after a standout prep career at Polson High. The 6-foot-1 winger and striker finished with 20 goals and 19 assists his senior year. He was a two-time all-state selection and two-time all-conference selection. He helped lead Polson to a second place Class-A state finish.
“Carroll is a great school academically,” Erickson said. “It is just the right distance away from home and the opportunity to play soccer sealed the deal.”
He plans to study business while at Carroll.
“Robin has excellent field vision,” Mello said. “His ability to hit the open man with a penetrating pass will be a key to our improved attack. A bonus is he can score goals as well.”
Erickson also played 10 seasons of club soccer with Polson FC and one season with Flathead United. He posted a 3.63 GPA while at Polson and plans to study pre-health while at Carroll.
Jack Bentson, a 6-foot winger/forward from Bozeman, Montana, adds to the Saints’ depth at the front of their attack. He scored seven goals and had 13 assists his senior year at Bozeman High and was selected as an all-conference performer during the Hawks’ state championship run. He lettered three times with the Hawks. Bentson also played for the Bozeman Blitzz FC for nine years.
“The community of students here seems like a special thing that I’d like to be a part of,” Bentson said.
He plans to study business at Carroll. He held a 3.5 cumulative GPA at Bozeman.
“Jack impressed the coaching staff at camp last summer,” Mello said. “He is from a championship Bozeman squad. Scoring a big goal in the state final shows his knack for scoring under pressure.”
David Macy is a 6-foot outside back from Vicenza, Italy. He prepped at Vicenza High. His senior year he made 25 starts and finished with two assists. He played club soccer for U.S.D. Calidonense from 2015-18 and A.S.D. Bissarese (2018-19). He’s been a part of teams that won three club conference championships.
“It appears to be a great school in a beautiful location to attend college,” Macy said. “I wanted to study pre-med and this school has an excellent program for it. Finally and most importantly, I have been given the opportunity to play soccer for the Saints.”
He plans to study biology and sports a 3.94 GPA.
“David plays in a top-level Italian league that ensures he will be ready for the rigors of the Cascade. He has the ability to not only stop an attack but also counter with a penetrating pass or overlap.”
Brayden Reid is a 6-foot-1 center defensive midfielder from Sandy, Utah. He prepped at Juan Diego Catholic High. His senior year he tied for most goals on the team, converting three PKs, and was a team captain. He’s played club soccer with the Blue Knights Soccer Club for eight years and Utah Glory Soccer Club for three years.
“I wanted to advance my education as well as my soccer career in the best atmosphere possible to succeed in both,” Reid said.
He plans to study pre-physical therapy and holds a 3.78 GPA.
“Brayden played indoor with our group this winter and fit in nicely,” Mello said. “By playing with perennial state champs Juan Diego, he gained valuable technical and tactical experience. He is a talented player on both sides of the ball.”
The Saints will feature just one senior on the 2019 squad, suggesting underclassmen, including these new recruits, could play a pivotal role.
“With only one senior on the team, the sky is the limit for this youthful squad,” Mello said. “Combining cutting-edge tactics, superb team chemistry, high-level fitness and technical expertise will be the foundation of a successful campaign. Carroll fans will embrace all the fun and excitement in our approaching season.
The Saints men’s soccer team opens up its season on Aug. 15 against Lethbridge in Nelson Stadium.