PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Coming off the program's most successful season in NCAA Division II, Lake Erie College men's soccer coach Davie Carmichael announced the first three additions to next year's squad with the signings of Ryan Gibson (Dublin, Ohio/Scioto), Anthony Novak (Toronto, Canada/St. Mary's) and Joey Wise (Highland Heights, Ohio/Mayfield).
"Ryan, Anthony and Joey are the first signings of our 2012 commitments, a class which could prove to be the strongest soccer recruiting wave in the history of Lake Erie College," Carmichael said. "We are continuing to scout for talent and looking forward to our second recruiting wave this spring but are extremely pleased with the foundation this puts in place."
Gibson, a four-year starter for the Irish at Dublin Scioto with 69 career goals and 21 assists, is expect to contribute at forward and potentially midfield. He earned first-team All-Ohio Capital Conference and first-team all-district in high school.
"Ryan is an extremely exciting and architectural player who will adapt and transition immediately into collegiate soccer," explained Carmichael. "His high pressing coupled with his ability to drop off and lose his marker will bring a different dynamic to our attacking play. His quick and creative movement will give us a directness that we lacked last year and I have no doubt he will create many goal scoring opportunities."
Gibson is excited to enter his freshman year at Lake Erie.
"I have always dreamed of playing soccer in college, especially at an institution and in a team that is growing in success," said Gibson. "Everything about Lake Erie College fit exactly what I was looking for - the campus itself, the cohesion of the players, the passion of Coach Carmichael and his coaching staff, the hospitality of the President and of course my major (Business Administration."
Novak has been key member of the Toronto Lynx Premier Soccer Academy at midfield as he scored 23 goals this season. He was both team captain and team MVP at St Mary's Catholic High School.
"We watched Anthony play in the Winstars Soccer Academy Showcase in Mississauga, Ontario this winter and he stood out as our MVP of the tournament," Carmichael said. "Every team needs a versatile and tough midfielder and we believe that we have found that in Anthony. He is tough, but fair, with an enthusiastic battle-prone playing style. He is excellent on the ball, comfortable with both feet and is very decisive. He has a great engine and will give us a strong link between our midfield and strikers and open up scoring opportunities from midfield. Anthony is an energy source that will plug in anywhere in midfield or attack."
"The balance between a strong education and a competitive soccer environment definitely attracted me to being a part of Lake Erie College and the Storm soccer program. It was immediately evident when I stepped on campus and met the coaches that Lake Erie is where I wanted to be." said Novak.
Wise was Mayfield High School's leading striker, helping the Wildcats to four district championships and the state final as a senior. He scored three goals in Mayfield's 5-0 win in the state semifinals. Wise was Mayfield's team captain and leading scorer and was recognized as a Cleveland Plain Dealer Player of the Week.
"Joey is a talented, strong and brave striker who will regularly get into good goal scoring positions," Carmichael said. "He has a good eye for goal and is dangerous at gaining space in and around the box."
The size of the Lake Erie, the academic standards, the location and Division II competition is exactly what I am looking for from my college experience," said Wise. "When I visited campus at the top recruit showcase, the players and coaching staff were all very welcoming and I can't wait to get started."
Check back at www.lakeeriestorm.com for future signings.