11 newcomers join Longwood soccer team

Published 7:29 am Monday, July 19, 2021

As the fall season inches closer, Longwood men’s soccer coach Jon Atkinson unveiled a group of 11 newcomers joining the Lancers this fall.

The incoming cohort features a wealth of talent from across the world that can line up all across the pitch. Five of the 11 players hail from the commonwealth, with two more from North Carolina, one from Florida and one from Washington, while two international students come in from Germany.

The 11 that make up the incoming class are midfielder Kidus Assefa (Alexandria), left back Will Davis (Holly Springs, North Carolina), left back Ethan Kennedy (Greenville, North Carolina), defender Ethan Laing (Winchester), midfielder/forward Andrew Messick (Dumfries), Striker/Winger Israel Monsanto (West Palm Beach, Florida), striker Luis Ortner (Berlin, Germany), midfielder Fabio Podmelle (Minden, NRW, Germany), center back Andrew Short (Virginia Beach), center midfielder Maxwell Skinner (Seattle, Washington) and goalkeeper Sillah Suwaneh (Lorton).

“We have been busy during the pandemic establishing a quality class that is not only talented but, just as important, filled with high-character kids who will compliment a seasoned squad,” Atkinson said. “My goal was to bring in depth in every position and competition for places, and these lads are hungry for the chance to prove themselves. Every one of them has been a standout at their respective levels prior to Longwood. Of course college is a step up and all will need time to adjust, but the fundamentals are in place to be fantastic class, and we are excited to see what they can do.”

Of the 11 players, 10 are freshmen to go with one transfer, with the entire cohort joining a Lancer squad that brings back all but one starter from a season ago. Podmelle comes to Longwood following two seasons at the NAIA level after growing up and playing soccer overseas.

The Lancers return all 11 starters and 24 players that saw time from the 2020-21 team. A five-man group of seniors in Ander Etxaniz, Josh Fordyce, Justin Gates, Tyrique Lake and Jacob Reimers all return, as does Markus Gronli, the team-leader in points last year.