June 19, 2013
CHICAGO – DePaul is bringing in some talented reinforcements as the men’s soccer program heads into the inaugural season of the new BIG EAST Conference.
The Blue Demons’ recruiting class of 2013 features high school All-American forward Pat Flynn of Naperville Central who was the Sun-Times and Daily Herald Player of the Year after finishing his senior season with 30 goals and 10 assists.
Other local standouts that chose to play college soccer closer to home include Larkin’s outstanding midfielder Erik Rodriguez, goalkeepers Philip Huang of Homewood-Flossmoor and Quentin Low of Stevenson and standout Maine South midfielder Simon Megally.
“The results of our recruiting philosophy have brought us a tremendous amount of local talent with five of our incoming freshmen from the Chicago area,” said DePaul soccer coach Craig Blazer. “We focused on getting the best local kids while also recruiting the best quality that we can from everywhere else. In addition to the Chicago kids, we have recruits from Louisville, Ky., St. Louis, Minnesota, Cincinnati and one from Berlin, Germany."
“It’s an extremely talented group both athletically and academically. They also have the character and determination to get us back to the level of excellence we believe we can attain in the new BIG EAST Conference.”
Blazer believes the incoming freshmen will provide a lift to the Blue Demon program when they arrive on campus July 22 to begin summer classes.
“We feel this group can compete successfully at the Division I level, and they will get an opportunity because of the strengths they bring to the program,” Blazer said. “With its sheer numbers, the 10-player recruiting class of 2013 is going to have an impact on our team.
“These guys are going to help us out in all areas of the field. We have attacking midfielders, wing midfielders, a forward, defenders and two goalkeepers. It covers everything.
“This recruiting class has very good skills sets, high character and they are academically motivated. They have it all. From local to regional to international, they will all help us compete and qualify for the BIG EAST Championship.”
According to Blazer, the recruiting process went well for the DePaul coaching staff.
"It has been quite a year identifying and communicating with so many prospective student-athletes, and I’m very excited about this class,” Blazer said. “I want to thank assistant coaches Mark Plotkin and Craig Reynolds for all their hard work along with the contributions from our academic and administrative staff.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome this group and their families to the DePaul men’s soccer program.”
Here’s a rundown on the Blue Demon class of 2013:
Pat Flynn, Naperville Central, forward: Named All-American his senior year after recording 30 goals and 10 assists in leading the Redhawks to second place in the Class 3A state tournament. The Chicago Sun-Times and Daily Herald Player of the Year also won a national championship with Galaxy Soccer Club and was selected to the all-tournament team at nationals.
Erik Rodriguez, Larkin, midfielder: The two-time Daily Herald Player of the Year and All-State selection finished a stellar career with 90 goals and 52 assists. He led the Royals to three regional titles and twice to the sectional finals. Had 15 goals and 10 assists in leading the Chicago Magic PSG Academy team to the semifinals of the Dallas Cup in 2012.
Philip Huang, Homewood-Flossmoor, goalkeeper: The Daily Southtown All-Area Team selection was ranked among the top 140 college soccer recruits in the country by ESPN High School Sports. He was selected from the Olympic Development Program to play goalie on the Illinois State U-15 Team.
Simon Megally, Maine South, midfielder: This club soccer standout had seven goals and seven assists for Sockers FC last season. He is a four-star recruit according to topdrawersoccer.com and the No. 9-ranked player in the Midwest who led the Sockers to the US Club Soccer Regional Championship in 2011.
Quentin Low, Stevenson, goalkeeper: The Pioneer Press 2012 Soccer Player of the Year led the Patriots to the semifinals in the state playoffs. He set a school season record with 18 shutouts and had an impressive 0.40 GAA his senior year. Low led Eclipse Select to the 2012 US Club Nationals and was offered a position on the Filipino Men’s National Team.
Adam Kirsch, St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.), defender: Led the Tigers to the 2011 and 2012 Kentucky state championship and topped the program in assists as a senior. Behind Kirsch, St. Xavier went 27-0-2 his senior year and was ranked No. 4 in the nation. He was chosen Kentucky State Tournament MVP and State Tournament First Team in 2012.
Jake Rawlings, Summit Country Day (Cincinnati), defender: Led Silver Knights to back-to-back state soccer championships his junior and senior years. All-Southwest Ohio as a senior along with all-conference first team and Cincinnati Enquirer All-Area Honorable Mention. Rawlings was also an All-Conference Honorable mention guard in basketball and helped lead Summit to the state title as a junior. In club soccer at the Ohio Elite Soccer Academy, he played on the 2012 US Club Soccer Ohio Cup champion and helped Ohio Elite advance to the Ohio South State Cup semifinals.
Koray Yesilli, Berlin Institute of Technology, Berlin, Germany, defender: A top-of-the-line prospect to strengthen the backline, Yesilli excelled at the Altludersdorf soccer club which was among the top three programs in Brandenburg and fourth-best in a division that included teams from Brandenburg, Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He earned a tryout for the U-19 Turkish National Team, but could not attend because of an injury. Yesilli competed on a regional team with players from Turkey, France, Ghana, Egypt, Serbia and the USA. Academically, he ranked among the top 10 students in his high school class and won an award as the top physics student in the school.
Curtis Shillingsford, Chaminade College Prep (Creve Coeur, Mo.), defender: This All-State First Team selection and NSCAA All-American led Chaminade to a pair of district championships and culminated his career with a state final appearance as a senior. A club soccer standout for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher USSDA Academy team, he competed in the national finals at the U-14 and U-16 levels.
Kevin Beyer, Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Faribault, Minn.), midfielder: Captain of the Shattuck-St. Mary’s U-16 Academy team that advanced to the US Development Academy Playoffs. He was also captain of the Boulder County Force club team that advanced to the Colorado State Cup semifinals.