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All-Americans Highlight Men's Soccer Recruiting Class

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 02/23/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan head men's soccer coach Stu Riddle has today announced the incoming 2012-13 recruiting class. A total of six student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Western Michigan and compete for the Broncos next fall.

"I am very pleased to have this talented group of young men join our program." Riddle said. "They have all been identified because of the positive individual traits they possess on and off the field and I am excited to have the opportunity to work with them all this fall."

The signees include: Connor Furgason (Plymouth, Mich./Canton), Sean Hazen (Novi, Mich./Novi), Erik Kelly (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Lahser), Ryan Lemasters (Dexter, Mich./Schoolcraft) Marco Lobo (Caracas, Venezuela/Schoolcraft) and Mario Teixeira (Ann Arbor, Mich./Schoolcraft).

Two of the incoming student-athletes are defenders (Furgason and Teixeira). Hazen and Kelly are midfielders while Lemasters and Lobo are both forwards.

Furgason, Lemasters and Lobo are three of the most prized recruits in the nation, all receiving high-end recognition from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in the fall of 2011. Furgason was one of only eight defenders nationally to be named an NSCAA High School First Team All-American.

Lemasters was named an NSCAA Junior College First Team All-Region team member while Lobo went one step better, for the second consecutive season being named to the NSCAA Junior College First Team All-American.

"The addition of these players is going to make our squad stronger than it has ever been and the competition for starting spots will be fierce," Riddle added. "A more competitive environment daily, can only bode well for the program as we all look to take it to uncharted territory."

The Broncos head into the 2012 season after making its second successive Mid-American Conference championship match appearance, in a 2011 season that was highlighted with victories away from home over 2010 College Cup participant Michigan and 2010 National Champion Akron.

CONNOR FURGASON #5 (DEFENDER)
PLYMOUTH, MICH.

A four-year letterwinner and starter at Canton High School, Furgason brings an impressive high school and prep career with him to the Broncos. As a senior in 2011, Furgason was able to lead the Chiefs to a state championship picking up a host of awards along the way. None will be more prized for Furgason than at the conclusion of the season when he was named a 2011 NSCAA High School All-American. Furgason has been the captain and stalwart of the CSA Wolves USSDA side for the past three seasons.

RIDDLE ON FURGASON:
"In Connor we have a player that has already created a terrific reputation for himself at high school and academy level nationwide. It is our job as a staff to make the transitional process into the college game as easy as possible so we all reap the rewards of his talent."

SEAN HAZEN #2 (MIDFIELDER)
NOVI, MICH.

Hazen comes to the Broncos with an impressive pedigree having been an integral part of both his high school and USSDA team's successes in recent years. Known for his incredible work ethic and versatility Hazen was a co-captain of the 2011 Novi Wildcats High School team. Named to the 2011 All-State Academic team Hazen has become a mainstay of the Vardar Academy sides in recent years.

RIDDLE ON HAZEN:
"Sean has an infectious attitude and is a proven winner. He is a player that will bring a lot to the team through his positive attitude, commitment and positional versatility."

ERIK KELLY #21 (MIDFIELDER)
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH.

A 2011 First-Team All-State selection out of Lahser High School, Kelly has enjoyed great success at the high school and USSDA levels. A tough no-nonsense midfielder his reputation has quickly developed through some fantastic performances (alongside future Bronco Sean Hazen) for the 2011-12 Vardar Academy.

RIDDLE ON KELLY:
"Physically, Erik is ready to compete at our level right now. Preseason will be an important time for his as he gets to learn our system and style of play and how quickly he can pick up on those areas of the game will determine how quickly he finds himself in the line-up."

RYAN LEMASTERS #11 (FORWARD)
DEXTER, MICH.

Lemasters joins the Broncos after a decorated career at Schoolcraft Community College. An inspirational goal grabber Lemasters enjoyed incredible success during the 2011 season scoring 11 goals and racking up 16 assists as Schoolcraft finished the season with a 21-1 record. Holding the nation's No. 1 ranking for the bulk of the 2011 season Schoolcraft ended the year ranked No. 6, largely due to Lemasters' attacking threat.

RIDDLE ON LEMASTERS:
"Ryan is one of those players that you see and very quickly know that you want on your team. He is a born leader and plays the game with great enthusiasm and his heart on his sleeve. I fully expect that he will be a major contributor in our success this fall."

MARCO LOBO #18 (FORWARD)
CARACAS, VENEZUELA

A 2010 and 2011 NSCAA Junior College First-Team All-American, Lobo brings a great deal of talent and experience to the Broncos. The crafty forward logged 20 goals and eight assists as a freshman in 2010 at Schoolcraft CC and backed that up in 2011 with 13 goals and nine assists. Lobo represented the Venezuelan national team at Under-15 and U-17 levels which was highlighted by a trip to the South American U-17 World Cup qualifying tournament in Chile.

RIDDLE ON LOBO:
"Marco's quality is undoubted. He has been a two-time First Team All-American at the Junior College level and prior to playing at Schoolcraft represented his national team at U-17 level. If we can get him 100 percent fit and have him remain injury free I think we are going to see a phenomenal player in a Bronco uniform."

MARIO TEIXEIRA #14 (DEFENDER)
ANN ARBOR, MICH.

Left back Teixeira will have plenty of familiar faces around him when he arrives at the Broncos' preseason camp this fall. Teixeira was victorious alongside current Broncos Derek Schrauben and Jarrett Kersten as members of the 2010 Vardar Academy national championship team and shared great success with Lobo and Lemasters at Schoolcraft CC during 2011.

RIDDLE ON TEIXEIRA:
"Mario is a great match for our program at this stage and I am delighted to have him join the team. We almost took him two seasons ago before he chose to go to Vermont and now after a full season playing regularly at Schoolcraft we are getting an experienced quality left back."

 

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