Canisius College men’s soccer head coach Dermot McGrane announced the addition of five players to the Golden Griffin program on Thursday. Andrew Coughlin, Anthony Mandola, Jake Montante, Eric Strauchen and Bryce Tramuta are all set to wear the Blue and Gold, starting with the 2014 campaign.
“Every year, we look to improve and strengthen our team through the recruiting process and I am confident that with this new group of players we have achieved that,” McGrane said. “We have added players that have the ability to immediately impact our team, while also adding tremendous depth and competition for starting positions.
“I can’t wait for August to arrive so we can get started with our new squad and work toward winning a MAAC Championship.”
Coughlin joins the Griffs after playing for Syracuse University from 2011 to 2013. With the Orange, Coughlin did not allow a goal in three career appearances with one clean sheet to his name. He spent three seasons at Baldwinsville High School prior to his time at Syracuse, leading the Bees to three consecutive league, section and regional championships as well as an appearance in the 2010 state final. Coughlin collected ESPN Rise New York All-Star Team accolades in 2010 after posting a .820 save percentage.
“Andrew transferred here from Syracuse over the winter break and it’s been great to work with him throughout the spring season,” McGrane said. “Andrew is a tremendous shot stopper and his distribution with his feet is excellent. He is a natural leader and I expect him to have a huge impact on our team next season.”
A forward with the New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 U18 Team the last two seasons, Mandola scored seven goals in 14 games this season. He also played two years at Jackson Liberty High School, earning back-to-back team MVP honors. Mandola collected first-team all-state honors and Central Division Player of the Year accolades as a sophomore, while also earning all-division and all-county honors twice.
“Anthony is a left-sided attacking player who can play wide on the left or as a striker,” McGrane said. “He definitely has the ability to score goals with his head as well as with his feet and currently is the leading scorer on his NJSA academy team. I believe Anthony has all the tools necessary to be a top-level Division I forward.”
Montante earned three letters at Canisius High School, playing in the midfield and on defense for the Crusaders. He was named to the All-Western New York First Team in 2012 and 2013, while collecting second-team accolades as a sophomore. Montante was also selected to the All-Catholic First Team on two occasions.
“We feel that Jake is the best player in Western New York and it is always our goal to see the top local player come to Canisius College,” McGrane said. “He is a versatile player who could slot into a number different positions on the field as his technique and work rate are outstanding. I’m expecting Jake to have an immediate impact on our team next season.”
Strauchen collected All-Greater Rochester First Team honors while playing for Webster Schroeder High School. He totaled 17 goals and 13 assists during his career, including 11 goals and two assists as a senior. Strauchen also collected all-state, all-county and all-league accolades with the Warriors.
“Eric is a tall left-footed player with the versatility to play on defense or attack,” McGrane said. “He provides a great quality service from the outside and attacks the ball in the air at the back post really well. We are very excited about what Eric will bring to our team over the next four years.”
Tramuta earned four letters at Penn-Trafford High School, where he was selected as an All-Section Finest 15 Team honoree. He posted a 1.38 goals against average with 14 clean sheets during his career, including five shutouts as a senior. Tramuta also spent your years with Arsenal Football Club of Pa., helping the squad to the State Cup Championship.
“Bryce has been attending our ID camps for about four years, so I feel we have got to know him as a player and as a person really well,” McGrane said. “He is a tremendous shot stopper and is fearless between the sticks. I’m confident that he will have a great impact on our team both on and off the field.”
The five newcomers join a roster that returns 15 letterwinners and eight starters. Canisius has won 15 games in the last two seasons, which is tied for the most in any two-year span in the program’s history.