Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Chaminade University
HONOLULU – Since winning a program-record nine victories in 2019, the past two seasons have been a struggle for the Chaminade University men’s soccer team. According to the Pacific West Conference Preseason Poll, the coaches who voted on it predicted they will do so again.
Perhaps the Silverswords now has everyone right where they want them to be.
Chaminade was picked to finish 10 out of the 11 teams in the PacWest in the poll taken two weeks ago. And as the saying goes, there’s nowhere to go but up.
The ‘Swords will find out just how far they’ve come since the start of fall camp in mid-August when they open their season Tuesday at Northwest Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho. Chaminade will get another challenge Thursday when they face 17th-ranked West Texas A&M, also in Nampa.
It’s not difficult to understand why the expectations aren’t high on the ‘Swords. After all, the team lost their top three goal scorers in Kelton Cheney (6 goals in ’21), Brison Kim (3) and Jamin Fonseca (2) as well as their most reliable defender in Lyric De Leon. In all, just 10 players return from last season.
However first-year head coach Joshua Woodard feels he has restocked the cupboard with talented newcomers combined with the returnees.
Sophomore defender Zach McClellan (San Marcos, Calif./San Marcos) started 11 matches last season while Joseph Wren (Kapolei, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Utah Valley/Kapolei HS) made eight starts. Senior midfielder Reilly Minigutti (Brooklyn, N.Y./Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy/Dallas Jesuit, Texas, HS) played all 13 matches last season and will look to earn a starting role after making two starts in 2021.
The Silverswords also have the luxury of having two-year starting goalkeeper Brandon Yasue (Honolulu/Kaiser) back. The senior has started 15 of the team’s last 17 games dating back to the spring 2021 season, sporting a 2.31 goals against average during that span.
Gabriel Schroeder (Reno, Nev./Galena) and Kaulana Navares (Waianae, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Mililani) – the latter who was a member of the Chaminade cross country team last fall – are the reserve keepers.
Among the newcomers who already have collegiate experience are transfers Ryan Anderson (Carlsbad, Calif./San Marcos HS) from Cal State Monterey Bay, Tino Colello (Normandy Park, Wash./Mt. Ranier HS) from Highline Community College and Daniel Villalva (Chula Vista, Calif./Otay Ranch HS) from La Sierra College.
There are also nine freshman who have the potential to set a foundation for Woodard in the coming years.
Following their return from Idaho, the Silverswords will be at Hawai’i Pacific University (Sept. 20) and the University of Hawai’i Hilo (Feb. 23) in non-conference action. The ‘Swords make their home debut at the Saint Louis Field pitch on Wednesday, Sept. 28 against Academy of Art.
Senior Day is set for Saturday, Nov. 5 against HPU.