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Men's Recruiting Jun 26, 2023

JMU men’s soccer signs three in-state Virginia recruits and four European prospects

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The James Madison University men’s soccer team (#40 in SoccerWire’s Best 50 Men’s Programs) will head into the 2023 season with seven new student-athletes on the roster, Head Coach Paul Zazenski announced.

“This class is loaded with talent and we couldn’t be more ready to get these guys on campus,” Zazenski said. “We have a great blend of everything needed in a recruiting class. We have three college transfers, two traditional freshmen and two mid-year enrollees from spring of 2023. We have three Virginia players and four international players and recruited every field player position. It’s a class that we see making an immediate impact on the field and we are confident this class is one of the best we have had in recent years. Credit to our staff for their hard work in putting this class together.

See below for a look at JMU’s incoming class.

Enrique “Pitu” Garcia Barelles
Position: Defense

Hometown/High School/Previous School: Valencia, Spain/Patronato Sagrada Familia/Universidad de Castilla – La Mancha (UCLM)/Universidad Internacional de Valencia (VIU)

Height/Weight: 6-3/170 lbs

Coach Zazenski’s Thoughts: Pitu is an experienced center back coming to us from a very high level in Spain. He is composed on the ball and reads the game at a very high level. The thing that stands out to us the most with Pitu is his desire to compete and win. He is a driven player and person who will no doubt withhold the standards of the program both on and off the field.”

Luca Nikolai
Position: Defense

Hometown/High School/Previous School: Kaarst, Germany/Albert Einstein Gymnasium/University Macromedia

Height/Weight: 5-10/187 lbs

Coach Zazenski’s Thoughts: Luca is an explosive and powerful fullback playing in the Oberliga in Germany. He had a strong youth career in Borussia Monchengladbach and was teammates with current JMU player Cameron Arnold. We instantly were drawn to Luca’s ability to go forward and effect the final third. He is a regular starter in the Oberliga and has experience playing in this league from a very young age. He possesses all the ability to be a very solid DI defender for years to come as he will be joining us as a true freshman.

Davide Materazzi
Position: Defense

Hometown/High School/Previous School: Perugia, Italy/Giordano Bruno/Davis and Elkins College

Height/Weight: 6-4, 190 lbs

Accolades: Named to the All-MEC First Team and All-Region Second Team in 2022… Earned All-MEC Honorable Mention in 2021 season.

Coach Zazenski’s Thoughts: Davide comes to us from DII Davis and Elkins College where he was able to captain and lead one of the strongest teams in DII for the past few seasons. With his presence at center back, Davis and Elkins were ranked No. 1 in the country for most of the 2022 season. Davide uses his size and positioning to control the game. He wins challenges when needed and will add a great aerial presence on both sides of the ball. Davide’s best quality is his ability to organize and lead those around him. Davide is a proven winner at the college level and we can’t wait to see him in a JMU uniform for the next two seasons.

Cooper Noseworthy
Position: Midfield

Hometown/High School: Manassas, Va./Osborn

Height/Weight: 6-4/190 lbs

Accolades: Earned 6A State Player of the Year honors in 2023… Named Cedar Run District and All-Met Player of the Year in senior campaign during 2022-23 year.

Coach Zazenski’s Thoughts: Cooper is a local Virginia product with loads of potential. He has a 6’3” frame and has the physical and technical tools to be a top DI player before all is said and done. He can play every position in the center of the pitch and is dangerous in and around goal. We feel he is without question one of the best players in the state of Virginia and we can’t wait to start working with him come August.

Balint Kosco
Position: Forward

Hometown/High School/Previous School: Ottobrunn, Germany/Therese-von-Bayern Schule/George Mason

Height/Weight: 6-1/175 lbs

Accolades: Named to Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll 2022 and 2023… Played on the Hungarian National Team from U16 to U18.

Coach Zazenski’s Thoughts: We are very excited to have signed Balint from the transfer portal after a two-year stint at George Mason. We feel like a lot of the attributes that Balint exhibits does not show up on the stat sheet. He fits our system with simple play and quality movement. When scouting George Mason for our match in 2021, we saw his qualities and were excited at having a chance to recruit him once he went in the portal. Balint has experience with the Hungarian youth national team from U15 to U18 and two years of DI experience at George Mason which we hope to use to our advantage. Balint will give us another quality option to our attacking group for the next two seasons.

Alex Nohra
Position: Defense

Hometown/High School/Previous School: Fairfax Station, Va./Robinson Secondary School

Height/Weight: 6-3/205 lbs

Accolades: Second Team All-District in senior year of high school… Member of the National Honor Society.

Coach Zazenski’s Thoughts: Alex earned his way onto the team through the walk on process. He had played a high level of youth soccer in Virginia and had earned an NPSL summer league All-Conference accolade in the summer of 2022, so we decided to give him an opportunity to represent JMU. Alex showed very well in our spring matches and will be moving forward with the program this fall. He is a ridiculously strong athlete and ball winner who will only get better as he has time to adjust to DI soccer. It’s nice to add someone with his stature and competitiveness to our core defensive group.

Jeffrey Aguilar
Position: Midfield

Hometown/High School: Alexandria, Va./Alexandria City

Height/Weight: 5’3/130 lbs

Accolades: Named Alexandria Sportsman Athlete of the Year in senior season… Earned First Team All-Gunston District and All-Region honors in junior campaign while also being named Gunston District and Regional Player of the Year… Won the Gunston District title his sophomore year.

Coach Zazenski’s Thoughts: Jeffrey is another Virginia player who impressed us within his club at Alexandria. He came to us as a mid-year player and showed very well in the practice and playing environment already. There are few players that are as quick and good on the turn as Jeffrey. He has the technical ability to keep possession when needed and play the last pass in the final third. We are excited to see Jeffrey continue to develop as he moves into his first fall season as a JMU men’s soccer player.

The Dukes will open the season at Sentara Park on Thursday, Aug. 24 in the program’s annual Fairfield by Marriott Invitational with a 7:30 p.m. match against Duquesne. They’ll close out the invitational on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. against UCLA.