June 3, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova men's soccer program today announced the addition of five newcomers who will join the Wildcats this fall. The list includes defender Willis Griffith; forward John Jlopleh; forward Padraic McCullaugh; defender Eric McKenna; and goalkeeper Will Steiner.
"We are excited to add another recruiting class to our Villanova family," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "These young men are true Villanova student-athletes on the field, in the classroom and throughout the community. We cannot wait to get them on campus."
Griffith is a 6-1, 160 pound native of Amherst, N.H., who attends Southegan High School. His on-field soccer highlights include:
- First team all-state selection
- Team captain as a junior
- New England Revolution Academy co-captain
- Led the Revolution Academy in minutes played
- Appeared in two matches for the Revolution reserves
Carlin said: "Willis is a great addition to our back line. He is an excellent passer, tough defender, and a born leader. We expect a big-time 4 year career from Willis."
Jlopleh plays his club soccer for Baltimore Bays Chelsea Academy and attends Loyola Blakefield High School in Maryland.
- Played three seasons of varsity high school soccer from freshman through junior year
- Tallied 11 goals and seven assists in junior season
- Rated four stars on Topdrawersoccer.com
- 2011 Disney Finalist - Scored the lone goal to beat Chelsea FC Academy
- Only '96 player on the #2 ranked Baltimore Bays Chelsea U18 Academy
Carlin said: "John is a hard working two-way attacking player who will contribute immediately. He is a true competitor."
McCullaugh hails from Sacramento, Cal., and currently plays for the U18 San Juan Academy. Among his noteworthy soccer accomplishments are these:
- U-17 Placer Blues '95, ranked No. 1 in the nation and champions of NorCal State Cup 2012
- U-16 California Development Academy
- San Juan Lightening '95 Blue - 2010 Surf Cup Semi-Finalist; 2009 US Club National Cup Region IV Champions; 2009 NorCal Premier League State Cup Champions
- Played varsity soccer as a junior for Jesuit High School
Carlin said: "Padraic is a very big & strong athlete. He plays target forward for his academy club team but I wouldn't be surprised if he plays several positions for us."
McKenna attends East Islip High School on Long Island and hails from Great River, N.Y. Included on his list of soccer highlights are:
- Serves as a captain of the u-18 Albertson Academy - anchoring the 2nd lowest goals against defense in the entire USSF league
- Four-time New York State Champion for the Dix Hills Thunder (2005-08)
- Played three seasons of varsity soccer at East Islip from 2009-11 and served as a team captain
- Earned Suffolk All-County honors in 2010- 2011
- Older brother plays for Stony Brook and younger brother plays for the 97 pre-academy team
Carlin said: "Eric is a tough, strong, versatile defender who will add to our depth in our defensive midfield and backline positions."
Steiner attends Fairfield Prep in Connecticut and plays club soccer for USSDA South Central. Among his noteworthy soccer achievements:
- A four year starter in goal for Fairfield Prep
- As a senior he posted 17 shutouts in 24 games
- Named SCC tournament Most Valuable Player, All-Conference, All-State, All-New England, All-American, New Haven Register All-Area MVP, Connecticut Post All-Area MVP
- Topdrawersoccer.com top rated Goalkeeper in the Northeast (Overall ranked 5th highest player in Northeast)
- Participated in three US Soccer Federation Market Trainings (January of 2011, April of 2011, and January of 2012)
Carlin said: "Will is an extremely intelligent young man who has a great deal of emotional intelligence which leads to a strong presence in front of the goal."
These five newcomers will be joined by forward Max Kroschwitz, whose addition was announced in March.