With two national championships in the last five years, Fort Lewis College slowly is retooling a mens soccer roster that narrowly missed out on the NCAA Division II Championships a year ago.
National signing day was Feb. 2, but the Skyhawks have been making transactions under the radar ever since. Two days after signing day, FLC signed its first recruit, and the program has announced a pair of signings the last two days.
b First signed Feb. 4: Jason Greenwood, a 5-8 defender from Yateley, England, and a Northern Iowa Area Community College transfer.
b Second signed Tuesday: Brook Assefa, a center midfielder from Boulder High School.
b Third signed Wednesday: Zach Lawrence, an outside midfielder from La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, N.M.
Greenwood brings two years of junior college experience to what will be a young 2011 team.
He displayed enourmous quality on his visit, and he is a natural born leader, which is something we are going to need in the next few years, Skyhawks head coach Oige Kennedy said in a news release to The Durango Herald.
Greenwood, who will have two years of eligibility at FLC, is slotted as a left-side fullback.
He displayed the qualities that we look for in our fullbacks, Kennedy said. He is a solid defender, is quick, and likes to get forward and deliver good quality balls into the box for the forward to attack.
Assefa is considered one of the top recruits in Colorado. The senior captain guided Boulder to the Class 5A semifinals last season, where the Panthers lost to eventual champion Cherry Creek.
Brook is a player that we have been tracking for a long time, and we are delighted to finally be able to add him to our 2011 roster, Kennedy said of the All-State player. He is a very creative player, and I think he will fit in greatly with the way in which our program plays soccer.
Kennedy attributed the Skyhawks success for landing Assefas National Letter of Intent.
Before last seasons abrupt end, FLC had reached the NCAA Tournament six consecutive seasons.
Brook is a big signing for us, as it shows the importance that we place on attracting the best talent from within the state of Colorado, Kennedy said. Our program has had a solid foundation that was built upon the best players from Colorado coming to play for the best team in Colorado, and we are glad to see this tradition continue.
Lawrence, the Skyhawks latest but not necessarily last recruit of the 2011 class, is a two-time state champion and two-time All-State player. He also helped his club team to six consecutive N.M. state championships.
We have seen a lot of similarities between Zach and our former wide player, Tom Settle, said Kennedy, referring to the Englishman who led the nation in assists during the Skyhawks 2009 championship season. They have a similar ability in putting good quality crosses into the box. Tom is a player that I am sure Zach will enjoy trying to emulate, and it will give him some good targets to aim for over the next few seasons.
Settle, who graduated from the program last fall, is second all-time on the Skyhawks career assists list.
FLC finished 11-5-4 overall a year ago, second in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference at 10-2-2. FLC just missed an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament when Colorado School of Mines beat its archrival in shootouts in the RMAC Tournament championship.
FLC won national championships in 2005 and 09, was national runner-up in 1999 and 06. FLC has advanced to 11 national tournaments since 1997.