BALTIMORE - Upon reaching the midpoint of the NCAA Division I men’s soccer season, TopDrawerSoccer unveiled its first Freshman Top 100 rankings and the Loyola University Maryland men’s soccer team had three Greyhounds included.
Brian Saramago checked in as the top-ranked Patriot League rookie at No. 26 nationally. Classmates Nico Brown and Barry Sharifi joined him in the rankings at 88th and 96th, respectively.
Brown, Saramago and Sharifi have been instrumental in helping Loyola turn its program around, as the Greyhounds are in the midst of their best season under third-year head coach Steve Nichols.
The trio were members of Loyola’s first-ever nationally ranked recruiting class, which was ranked 13 by College Soccer News, and they’ve helped the Greyhounds string together a seven-game unbeaten streak, which features wins over American, the Patriot League preseason favorite, and Lehigh, the defending Patriot League Tournament Champions.
Offensively, the trio has combined for nine goals, nine assists and 27 points, which has helped Loyola to an 11-game scoring streak, tying the program’s sixth-best stretch in NCAA Division I history.
Individually, Brown has played in all 13 of Loyola’s games this season. The speedy forward from Elkridge, Maryland, ranks fourth on the team with 13 shots and has tallied two assists, including assisting Saramago’s game-winning goal vs. George Washington.
Saramago, a forward from New Hyde Park, New York, leads the Patriot League in goals (8) and points (18) this season, while he’s the second-ranked freshman in the NCAA in goals scored. He’s the lone League player to earn multiple Corvias Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week awards this season, picking up the honor in the past two weeks. He’s also earned NSCAA and NCAA Player of the Week accolades, and been named to the College Soccer News Team of the Week this year.
With five assists this season, Sharifi is tops in the Patriot League. The midfielder from Jericho, New York, earned Patriot League Rookie of the Week accolades after scoring a pair of set-piece goals at Pittsburgh, including the game-winner in overtime, while he also assisted classmate Josh Fawole’s goal vs. Lafayette that week.
For the season, this year’s freshman class has had a hand in all but one of Loyola’s 18 goals.
The Greyhounds will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Army West Point for a 7 p.m. match.