Head coach John Higgins announced the signing of three new Greyhounds to the UIndy men's soccer roster Thursday afternoon. The trio all hails from New Zealand, helping Higgins and staff start replacing the nine graduating seniors from last season's team.
Seth Ward, Will Forrest, and Dylan Thomson come to a UIndy squad that went 12-4-2 last season, reaching the GLVC tournament for the sixth-consecutive season. This is the first wave of roster additions for John Higgins and his staff with more additions to be made in the next couple of months.
"Overall, I am delighted with the group, three kids that will be very impactful for us. Great start to our recruiting class, we still have a bit of work to do, but this is a great for us having lost as many players that we did. This is a fantastic start, these are three guys that will be able to come in and start playing for us right away in the GLVC. We have not had too many kids come here from New Zealand over the years, but that we got all three of them coming together will help them all settle in and on top of being really good players they are great kids with great families with excellent support. They come over here for all the right reasons, making sure they get their degree first and I could not ask much more in getting great soccer players with great personalities and they have their priorities set with their education. I am really excited about the start to our recruiting class."
Dylan Thomson comes over after a decorated four years as a prep. Thomson won seven combined league championships with Sacred Heart and St. Patrick's over the least four years. Thomson also won a pair of knockout cup championships during his time at Sacred Heart while also winning a national title his junior year on a team that went 12-1-1 over the course of the year. During his senior season at St. Patrick's, Thomson picked up a league title and his team placed sixth nationally.
"[Dylan] Thomson is a warrior for a No. nine. He works, he battles, he has really good athleticism, and he is a left-footed kid so he offers us something a little bit different for up there. With how we press and work our players he is going to be able to come in and make an impact right away. He is coming here at mid-semester and we are fired up to get him here and start working with him. Come fall he should be able to play for us right away, he has a tough-nosed mentality that will fit the GLVC really well."
Seth Ward joins the Hounds after filling up the stat sheet for Wellington for the last three seasons. In his first year at WC, Ward scored 21 goals in his team's 21 games and was voted the team's footballer with most potential after the season. He followed up his astounding inaugural season with a player of the year award as a junior where he recorded 11 goals and 13 assists in 19 games for WC. As a senior, Ward's team went 7-3 in nationals, Ward accounted for four goals and three helpers in those ten games, going 7-3 for a 14th-place team finish.
"Seth [Ward] is a crafty-No. 10, very similar to the Steinwascher's. I think he will make a massive impact in the league, he is very good with the ball at his feet, he has a change-of-pace to beat people, and a great eye for the goal. We expect him to score a lot of goals even as a freshman."
Will Forrest comes from Wellington like Ward. Forrest scored 16 goals in his career at WC and won player of the year for Wellington as a senior. The 6-2 incoming freshman will come in with an opportunity to contribute at various positions for Higgins and his staff.
"Will Forrest is a great left-footed kid that can play in the back or as a midfielder for us. He is really comfortable on the ball, tough kid, winner with really good size as well. He will be a guy that will play for us because he is that versatile and that good."