SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (BVM) – Seton Hall is known as a basketball school, but the Pirates men’s soccer team is looking to change that in the near future.
The 2020 season – played in spring of 2021 – saw Seton Hall take a massive leap forward. They won ten games in the regular season, won the Big East title and made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the NCAA title series. This season, however, didn’t go nearly as well as Seton Hall experienced a 6-8-3 record. Although its record wasn’t where they wanted it to be, the team was able to take away a lot of positives from the campaign.
In limited action, junior goalkeeper Hannes Ronnholmen showed budding potential, with his 74 percent save percentage. He struggled in his first game, allowing three goals, but showed improvement following the performance. Ronnholmen was called upon in the second half of a game against top-seeded Georgetown, holding off the Hoyas from scoring again. With a likely opening at the position next season, he looks to become the starting goalkeeper for Seton Hall in 2022.
Along with Ronnholmen, Seton Hall’s leading scorer from last year, Johannes Pex, will look to build off his junior campaign next season. Behind his 15 points and five assists, Pex enjoyed a great season, leading to a Big East third team selection. He also showed his clutch gene with a game winning goal against Army.
Winning isn’t easy without a good coach at the helm and luckily for the Pirates, they have Andreas Lindberg. Lindberg is one of the winniest coaches in the country, with a .753 winning percentage in 13 seasons. When he was with Long island University (LIU) Post, he won ECC coach of the year in six seasons, including four in five seasons from 2011 to 2015. In 2020, Lindberg led the program to its first Big East tournament championship since 1991, its first NCAA tournament since 2005, and the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament for the second time in school history.
“Rough season and one of the strangest ones I ever been part of,” Lindberg said on Twitter. “That said, great group of boys and they leave the program in better shape than when they found it. Plus a Big East Championship that no one can take away from them!”
With a short time frame between seasons, Seton Hall had a small window to rest after its first extended run in 15 years. It’s reasonable to assume that in a full season of rest the team could do much more.
With a solid foundation built by a great coach, a few promising players returning for another season, and a full offseason of rest, the Pirates men’s soccer team should hold their heads high.