Saint Joseph's head coach Don D'Ambra has announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The new additions will join the Hawks beginning in the fall.
"I am excited to announce our early committed recruits for the upcoming season. Overall, the group of players that we have coming in offer very good athleticism, versatility, work ethic and soccer knowledge. All of them have experience competing at a high level, which will help them adjust to the college level much faster,” D’Ambra said.
The incoming class includes forwards Alexander Critzos and Mike Glazer, midfielders Tom Brooks, Tyler Levengood, Jake Nelson, a midfielder/defender Dylan Andrews and defender Brandan Stevis.
Critzos joins the Hawks from Annapolis, Md. The 6'2" forward was a three-year varsity starter and the team's leading scorer at Archbishop Spalding High School. He captained the team and was named Most Valuable Player as a senior. Critzos currently plays on the Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC) premier team and was also a part of the Baltimore Bays Chelsea Academy and played internationally with the Olympic Development Program (ODP).
"Alex is a natural forward who can take players one-on-one and play with his back to the goal," said D'Ambra. "He has very good forward instincts and will be an asset on the offensive end for our team."
Glazer was a three-year varsity member and a senior captain at Marriotts Ridge High School and helped his team win back-to-back state titles as a junior and senior. The Ellicott, Md. native broke the school record for most goals in a season with 25 as a senior, and the record for career goals with 45. The 5’11” forward also played on the Maryland ODP team and played in four international games in Italy. He currently plays for the Unite Premier club soccer team.
"Mike is a natural scorer who can shoot well with both feet. He has very good forward instincts and puts himself in good areas to create offensive chances," D'Ambra said. "He can also play as a flank winger and can create offensively on the outside."
Brooks hails from Hockessin, Del. and was a four-year starter at Salesianum High School. The 6’0” midfielder helped his team to two Delaware state titles and was named All-Conference First Team as a junior and All-Conference Second Team as a senior.
"Tom is a versatile player who can play defense and midfield,” D’Ambra said. “He works very hard, plays with high energy, is aggressive on tackles, and makes good decisions with the ball.”
A 5' 10" center midfielder, Levengood was twice named Timber Creek High School’s Soccer Player of the Year and the team’s Most Valuable Player. The Sicklerville, N.J. native captained the team and was named First Team All-State and First Team All-Conference as a junior and senior. Levengood also plays for the Pittsgrove Premier 92 Club team that is ranked 12th in the country on GotSoccer.com. In the classroom he earned National Honor Society honors for two years.
"Tyler is an extremely hard worker and understands the game. He makes good decisions with the ball and has good defensive instincts,” said D’Ambra. “He plays aggressively and shows to be a good leader on the field."
Another center midfielder, Nelson comes to Hawk Hill from Jessup, Md. A two-year captain at Hammond High School, he led the team in goals and assists as a junior and senior. He was twice named to the All-County Team and was selected to the All-Triangle Tournament team as a senior. Nelson played in four Maryland State-Cup Championships and was a Disney Showcase Champion two times. He also participated in the Dallas Cup for two years and was a member of the SAC premier team.
"Jake is a solid center midfielder who sees the field well and maintains consistency. He has good vision and makes very good decisions offensively. He is capable of contributing in the attack but can also defend."
Andrews hails from Hempfield, Pa. and was a four-year starter and two-year captain at Hempfield High School. The versatile midfielder/defender helped his team win the PIAA state championship as a senior. That year he was named to the Pennsylvania All-State Team and to the Lancaster-Lebanan League All-Star First Team. In 2007 he was named the team’s Rookie of the Year and was also a member of the Pennsylvania Classics USSDA Academy teams for four years.
"Dylan is a smart player who reads the game well. He is solid on the defensive side and is very versatile,” stated D’Ambra. “He can play defense or midfield, which will be beneficial to our program since we are a young team."
A Downingtown, Pa. native, Stevis was named Most Valuable Player as a senior at Downingtown East High School. He captained the team and was selected to the All-Southeast Pennsylvania team in his senior year. The defender earned high honors all four years in high school. Stevis is a member of the FC Delco USSDA program and played on the Region 1 Regional ODP team for a year and the Eastern Pennsylvania ODP team for four years. He is also a former member of the Penn Fusion team that won the State Cup Championship twice.
"Brandon is a solid defender who understands the game and knows where to position himself both defensively and offensively,” said D’Ambra. “He is a good communicator on the field and has a good physical presence defensively."
“We will be a young team the next couple years but I am extremely pleased with the excitement and energy that is surrounding our program and this new group of players will certainly be an asset to our team.”