From college transfers to high school graduates, true freshmen to redshirt seniors, goalkeepers to forwards, the Oregon State Beavers Men’s Soccer Team will be bringing in a wide-ranging cast of ten new players to their 2020 roster.
And while Oregon State does not yet have an official schedule set for the 2020 season due to delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the PAC-12 Conference has recently announced their intentions to set team schedules for a variety of Fall sports, men’s and women’s soccer included.
With the conference planning to begin their fall sports schedule no earlier than the weekend of Sep. 26, the ten new faces of the Beavers’ men’s soccer team may get the chance to take the field for the first time as Oregon State soccer players within a month. And if they do, they will be bringing with them a broad range of experience to the team.
While the Beavers’ class of incoming players is comprised of mostly transfer students with at least one year of college-level play to their resumes, there are still four freshmen set to join Oregon State in 2020.
The first of the freshmen players to officially join the team was Ellis Spikner, a forward from Salt Lake City, Utah who graduated from Skyline High School while playing for the school’s soccer team. Spikner also played for the Utah Avalanche, a competitive club and member for the Elite Clubs National League for youth soccer players across the country.
Through his playing days in high school and throughout soccer clubs in Utah, Spikner became a two-time club player of the month as well as being named captain of the Utah 01 ODP team. And while Spikner was the first freshman to join the team in January, he was followed by three more accomplished freshmen in July, also set to join the Beavers for the 2020 season.
Among those three freshmen is Lorenzo Lopez, a midfielder who has also spent time playing defender for the Portland Timbers Youth Player Development Academy. Born in Oregon City, Oregon, Lopez will get the opportunity to stay in his home state when he takes the field for the Beavers.
While playing with the Portland Timbers Academy, Lopez also earned the opportunity to train with the Portland Timbers 2 and earned the honor of being named to the Development Academy Starting 11 All-West Regional Team in 2017.
Oregon State will also be introducing Connor Lambe to the team in 2020, the only goalkeeper of the ten incoming Beavers. Lambe started for two seasons as the goalkeeper for Santa Barbara High School-- helping his team to back-to-back league championships with his efforts and holding opposing teams to shutouts in 16 games over his two starting seasons.
Lambe earned some individual accomplishments along the way as well, being named a two-time Channel League First-Team player in his two seasons as a starter, as well as earning a spot on the CIF-Southern Section D1 First-Team, in part for his efforts in helping his team reach the CIF Division 1 quarterfinal round.
The final incoming freshman to the Beavers’ 2020 class is Gael Gibert, a defender from Thiers, France who played for the Academy of Clermont-Ferrand. Gibert was also a member of the reserve team for Clermont Foot, a professional soccer club in France in Ligue 2.
While the four freshmen of the Oregon State 2020 class will be coming to Corvallis after last playing at different spots all across the country, and even across the world, three of the Beavers’ six transfer players will be coming over after spending the last two seasons as teammates for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
The three former Chanticleers, Tsiki Ntsabeleng, Tyrone Mondi and Jeranimo Power, will all be coming into the program with a similar level of experience as redshirt seniors, but all with varying skill sets that the three players used to help Coastal Carolina reach the NCAA Tournament in 2019.
Mondi and Power are two players set to play the midfield position in 2020 for Oregon State who have both received high recognition for their work at midfield with Coastal Carolina.
Mondi earned his way onto the Sun Belt Conference’s Second-Team All-Conference list in both 2018 and 2019, in large part due to his skill as a scorer, leading the Chanticleers in points with 18 in 2019 and coming away with three goals and three assists in 10 starts in 2018. Mondi also earned honors for his work in the classroom, being named an NCAA First-Team All-Academic honoree in 2019 with a 4.0 GPA.
While not the scorer for Coastal Carolina that Mondi was, Power proved to be an important piece to the Chanticleers in his two years of playing on the team. Both 2018 and 2019 were high volume years for Power, who started in 14 games in 2018 and played a total of over 1,100 minutes; and managed to outdo himself the following year with 19 starts and over 1,500 minutes of playing time. In both seasons, Power would be rewarded with First-Team All-Conference honors.
But Mondi and Power are not the only All-Conference players to join the Beavers for their 2020 campaign. Ntsabeleng, Mondi and Power’s teammate with Coastal Carolina, is also a two-time All-Conference honoree, who will be bringing his skills and accolades as a forward to the Beavers as well. Through two years of play with the Chanticleers, Ntsabeleng started in 22 games and totaled eight assists and nine goals-- five of which were game-winning goals.
Three more transfer student-athletes, all from three different universities, will also be joining the Oregon State men’s soccer program for 2020 as well. All with sophomore standing, the three new players include Mouhameth Thiam, Brendan Dexter and Becca Rice.
Thiam will be coming over from Radford after starting in 16 matches as a forward. With three assists and a team-leading five goals, Thiam was honored by the Big South Conference with a spot on their All-Freshman team.
Rice, a midfielder from Utah Valley, will be bringing to Oregon State 18 games of experience as a college player, with one start to his name as well. As a team, Rice’s Utah Valley squad managed to make the WAC Conference Championship, where two games before in the quarterfinal round, Rice managed to get an assist in a 3-0 win.
The final new addition to the Beavers’ 2020 Men’s Soccer squad is Brendan Dexter, a defender transferring from The University of Memphis and a native of Oregon City, Ore. While playing for Memphis, Dexter contributed nearly 1,000 total minutes in 2019 to a defense that recorded three shutouts. And as a youth player in the state of Oregon, Dexter was a part of a La Salle College Prep team that finished 16-1-1 and made it to the State Championship.
With ten new players and a variety of experiences, accomplishments, and positions, the Beavers will have the chance to build on the success they found in 2019 when they put together their second straight winning season.