Saint Mary’s men’s soccer announces 10 additions for 2021 season
MORAGA, Calif. — Saint Mary’s head coach Adam Cooper continues to dynamic players into his program, and this year’s new crop of Gaels is no exception. Ten newcomers will join the Gaels this fall for the 2021 season as SMC looks to reclaim the WCC Championship for what would be the third time in four seasons.
Here is a quick look at this year’s new Gaels…
Calero comes to NorCal from SoCal, where he attended St. Augustine in San Diego. An accomplished striker, Calero netted 33 goals across 22 games in high school, adding five assists. His squad didn’t just win the league championship in 2021, but also a state championship as a senior. On the club side, Calero spent three years with San Diego Surf Del Mar, where he scored over 40 goals in 50 games, taking home team MVP honors. He was also the caption of San Diego Surf Del Mar.
Calero chose Saint Mary’s because he says it felt like home from the moment he first arrived on campus, and he had a great connection with Coach Cooper. He plans to major in business administration at SMC and naturally enjoys going to the beach and surfing in his free time.
Ngongfor is one of the international Gaels that is set to join Saint Mary’s this fall, coming from Oldenburg, Germany. Club experience has been strong for Ngongfor while playing in Oldenburg, having spent seven years on two different clubs: JfV Nordwest (five years) and VfL Oldenburg (two years).
At Saint Mary’s, Ngongfor will be studying business administration. There were a variety of reasons he chose SMC, including the soccer program, location, and how strong the academics are. In addition to spending 15 years of his life in Germany, Ngongfor has also spent five years living in London.
Making the trek down the coast is Zamora, who is a product of Liberty High School in Renton, Washington. His senior season was a dynamite one, where he took home a pair of awards from the conference and league. Zamora was named All-Conference Second Team in addition to being named All-League Second Team. Zamora also comes with six years of club experience, playing for Crossfire in Redmond, the top team in the Elite Clubs National League.
Zamora cites his desire to develop himself as both an athlete and student as a reason he chose Saint Mary’s, in addition to growing as a person and getting closer to God.
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Vestburg will join the Gaels and look to give them some depth at the forward position. His experience overseas includes years spent with IK Frej FC and Vallentuna BK, giving him four years total. He was involved in a lot of scoring at the club level, racking up 16 goals and 22 asssists across those four seasons. His first two seasons playing club soccer for Vallentuna BK, he was a captain on the roster, and took home the Newcomer of the Year award in 2017.
Vestburg says he chose SMC because of the success of the soccer program and the coaching staff. He will be a business management major.
One of two coming from Washington, Borromeo is a 2021 graduate of Shorewood High School. While getting his diploma, he was studying abroad and playing with the academy team in San Sebastian, Spain (Antiguoko K.E. was the team). Back in the states, Borromeo has a plethora of club experience, including state championships with Pacific Northwest Maroon (three times) and once with Washington Premier in 2020. In the most recent season, Borromeo was the captain of Pateadores Washington.
Choosing SMC was an easy choice for Borromeo, who says the coaching staff and high-intensity of the team culture will help build his character in life and soccer. Following Saint Mary’s, he plans to study medicine and become a physician.
Bohane will head across from the Peninsula to the East Bay where he will join the Gaels after graduating from Los Gatos High School in 2021. He comes with nine years of club experience with the De Anza Force in Cupertino, one of the longest-tenured incoming Gaels in terms of time spent with one team.
Bohane will be a business administration major at Saint Mary’s.
The lone incoming Gael from Germany, Marpe will join an already very strong Gaels defense. The last two seasons, Marpe has played for VfL Bochum, one of the oldest sports organizations in the world, with origins in 1848. With the parent squad in the Bundesliga, the teams Marpe played on took second place in the Westphalia Cup and fifth place overall in the Junior Bundesliga.
Marpe has big aspirations at Saint Mary’s, and believes the Gaels have what it takes to win a national championship. That, along with aligning goals from the soccer program and his own goals, are reasons he made the trip to Moraga. Post-SMC, he hopes to continue playing professionally, or become a psychologist.
The strong Saint Mary’s pipeline from Australia collects another with the addition of Smileski, who comes to SMC from Figtree High School. He graduated high school in 2018 and has been playing club soccer with the Wollongong Wolves in the two years since, scoring five goals and adding seven assists. He has helped rack up tons of exposure to the University of Wollongong during his time, including a second-best ranking in the FISU University Football World Cup of 2019 and winning the Australian Football National Championship that same year.
Outside of soccer, Smileski also played in the Australian National Championships for tennis, and represents New South Wales in futsal, winning a national championship once and finishing second once. He will be a kinesiology major at Saint Mary’s and hopes to work towards a career in physiotherapy afterwards.
Lynch is a 2021 graduate of Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, where he lettered three seasons on the varsity team. His high school career saw him rack up 24 goals and 21 assists for the Huskies, while earning team captain and All-District honors as a junior (his last season of high school soccer). He has also spent three seasons playing for the Phoenix Rising, accumulating 65 goals and 53 assists across those three years. He was named an ECNL All-American in 2019 and has made it to the National Final Four twice.
Choosing Saint Mary’s allows Lynch to play with a successful program and achieve a prominent degree in a field of his choice, either business or communications. Off the pitch, he also plays a lot of golf.
With a first name fitting of time spent in Moraga, Quintero lettered during his senior season of soccer at Eastlake High School. He was active in the midfield during that season, scoring four times and helping on 10 other goals. On the club side, Quintero has spent four years with the San Diego Surf, scoring 15 goals and racking another 50 assists. His club team has been a regular in the postseason, including three trips to the US Development Academy Playoffs, the ECNL Finals in 2021, and a Surf Cup Championship in 2020.
Quintero will be a business administration major at Saint Mary’s and would like to be an entrepreneur following his soccer career. One interesting tidbit about Quintero is that he has traveled to all seven continents.