Men’s Soccer Announces Incoming Freshmen Class

Men's Soccer Announces Incoming Freshmen Class

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Head coach Jim McElderry officially announced the 2023 Rutgers men’s soccer team incoming freshmen class Monday morning. All four newcomers call New Jersey home and will remain in the Garden State for their collegiate soccer careers. 

Nick Collins, Francesco Di Ponzio, Luciano Sanchez and Devon Stopek will all join the defending Big Ten Champions this fall. The four rookies will also join two transfers already announced in Curt Calov (Syracuse) and Sawyer Koza (Temple). 

Nick Collins  

Defense | 6-4 | 192 lbs | Mount Olive, NJ | Gill St. Bernard’s | PDA 

  • Three-time New Jersey State Champion 
  • 2022 Somerset County and Skyland Conference Player of the Year 
  • 2022 SCAA All-Somerset County, All-Skyland Conference and All-Prep First Team 
  • 2022 New Jersey AllStar Game selection 
  • 2022 All American Watchlist 

“I picked Rutgers because of all the opportunities and the people I can meet,” Collins said. “When I visited I really enjoyed the environment and everyone that I met. Also the soccer program recently won the Big Ten which shows that this team is always competing at the highest level.”  

Francesco Di Ponzio  

Midfield | 5-8 | 140 lbs | Oakland, NJ | Indian Hills High School | NYCFC 

“I choose Rutgers for a variety of reasons,” DiPonzio said. “The first being that it is close to home, as I grew up in New Jersey every since I moved to the United States from Canada. Also, I aspire to continue both my academic and athletic career in a top-tier school, and having the opportunity to pursue both at a great school like Rutgers made it amazing. Additionally, the wonderful campus and outstanding athletic facilities at Rutgers made me very intrigued.” 

Luciano Sanchez  

Forward | 5-11 | 175 lbs | Wantage, NJ | YSC Academy | Philadelphia Union 

“I chose Rutgers because of not only their amazing high-end soccer program and facilities but the unique people and lifestyle at Rutgers University,” Sanchez said. “Once I came to visit Rutgers I knew it was the right one for me.” 

Devon Stopek 

Defense | 6-1 | 160 lbs | Cherry Hill, NJ | YCS Academy | Philadelphia Union 

  • U17 MLS NEXT National Champions (2022) 
  • Team USA in the Maccabi Games in Israel (2022) Silver Medal 
  • 2019 U.S. Soccer Youth National Team 

“Rutgers has always been there…

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