MSOC | Voyageurs Welcome Six to 2018 Incoming Class

Top (L-R): Jacxsen Cress, Aidan Martel & Graeme McLean

Bottom (L-R): Nick Esperanca, Mateus Forte & Arshjit Pelia
Top (L-R): Jacxsen Cress, Aidan Martel & Graeme McLean Bottom (L-R): Nick Esperanca, Mateus Forte & Arshjit Pelia

Laurentian Voyageurs men’s soccer head coach, Carlo Castrechino, is happy to announce the commitment of six players for the 2018-19 season.

“We are excited to have these recruits wearing the blue and gold this year for Laurentian. This class brings a lot of quality and versatility. Each one of these incoming players have the ability to step in, contribute and be a factor in our goal for an OUA Championship.”

The incoming class includes local contingents Aidan Martel and Jacxsen Cress (both GSSC U21 Sudbury) along with a quartet of southern Ontario talent highlighted by Nick Esperanca (Vaughan Soccer Club), Graeme McLean (Vaughan Soccer Club), Arshjit Pelia (Sigma FC) and Mateus Forte (Porto Dragon Force Academy Bradford).

Home grown product Aidan Martel hails from Hanmer, ON and currently highlights the GSSC Impact U21 men’s summer roster alongside a few of his soon-to-be Voyageur teammates. Martel will be entering the Kinesiology program at Laurentian this fall and is looking forward to experiencing the OUA atmosphere while improving his skills both on and off the field. “I want to be a part of the team that brings a championship to Laurentian University.”

That determination is definitely something Castrechino and the squad can get behind, adding that “Aidan brings plenty of skill to go along with his pace and strength. He can play on the outside or up high as an attacking forward.”

Rounding out the local talent is Jacxsen Cress who hails from Lively, ON. Also a member of the GSSC Impact U21 men’s team, according to Castrechino, Cress will bring size and strong technical ability to the Voyageurs lineup. “He is a true student of the game with the ability to defend and attack real well.”

Burlington’s Nick Esperanca brings championship experience and talent to the Voyageurs lineup. The former OFSAA champion was a member of the 2015 Ontario Provincial team as well as an invitee to the 2017 Canada Games. Castrechino expects Esperanca to step in right away and contribute. “Nick is a very aggressive attacking midfielder who specializes in 1v1 situations, but what is also impressive is his attention to the defensive side of the ball, especially his awareness and tackles.”

Fullback, Graeme McLean, brings his talents to the north from Burlington, ON where he is a member of the Vaughan Soccer Club. A three-time member of Team Ontario, the future Sports Management student chose Laurentian because of the all-around experience he is hoping to receive.

On the soccer side, Coach Castrechino believes that McLean’s versatility will be valuable to the team. “He is a solid player who can play anywhere on the backline or as an attacking wing player and can cross from both sides of the field.”

Brampton native and future Computer Science student, Arshjit Pelia, said he is “looking forward to the challenge of competing for a championship with the team and experiencing an independent learning opportunity,” at Laurentian University.

According to Castrechino, the discipline that Arshjit shows on the defensive side of the ball is a strength that will prove beneficial to the Voyageurs backline. “Arshjit is a versatile defender that can play anywhere across the backline. He is very comfortable playing with both feet and makes himself available as an attacking outlet as well.”

Rounding out the incoming class is Woodbridge native, Mateus Forte. The future Voyageur says he chose Laurentian because “they have a great and unique Sports Administration program and a strong soccer team.” The former CISAA Division 1 champion and three-time finalist is looking forward to stepping onto the field to compete for a championship.

Castrechino is also looking forward to the start of the season for Forte. “He is a solid, aggressive player who can play on the backline as well as the midfield. His 1v1 defending stands out, but his vision when he has the ball is very good as well.

Castrechino is excited to add more talent to a young Voyageurs core that made great strides in competition last year and included four OUA All-Stars.

The future Voyageurs will pull on the blue and gold and begin their post-secondary journey when training camp opens up in August. The 2018 season kicks off on Saturday, August 25th when both the men and women welcome the Carleton Ravens to the LU Soccer Field.