Senior defender Nick Hazel named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Men’s National Top 100 ranking

Nick+Hazel+ranked+46th+in+TopDrawerSoccer%E2%80%99s+Men%E2%80%99s+National+Top+100+ranking.%C2%A0%0A%28Photo+courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Nick Hazel ranked 46th in TopDrawerSoccer’s Men’s National Top 100 ranking.  (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Drew Steiner

The Leopards men’s soccer team is looking to get over the hump this year as the team has fallen short in the previous two seasons by one game. In both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Lafayette lost in the Patriot League Championship game, with the latter season culminating in a double overtime loss to the American University Eagles.

The Leopards are led this season by a myriad of talented seniors who are returning with one goal in mind: win the Patriot League Championship.

One of these talented seniors is defender Nick Hazel. Hazel was recently ranked 46th in TopDrawerSoccer’s Men’s National Top 100 ranking. 

TopDrawerSoccer is a soccer website that is dedicated to providing rankings from academy-level soccer to college players. The Men’s National Top 100 ranking list includes college sophomores, juniors and seniors.

“I am honored to be on these rankings and on the top half of it,” Hazel said. “I personally never thought I would be part of these rankings, but knowing that other coaches recognize me as a top player is awesome.”

The rankings are generated by members of the TopDrawerSoccer staff reviewing player’s personal accolades, such as First Team nominations, Second Team nominations and league awards, among others. The staff also reviews players’ spring season performance. Throughout the year TopDrawerSoccer updates its rankings based on statistics and coaches’ input.

Hazel’s list of personal awards and distinctions has grown this offseason as he was also named to the Preseason All-Patriot League team and listed as one of the 44 players listed on the Hermann Trophy Watch List, awarded to the best collegiate male soccer players in the country.

Hazel’s 2020 season was a memorable one, anchoring the Leopards defense which allowed eight goals in eight games. 

Hazel is looking forward to Patriot League play this season with his team and explained what the Leopards need to accomplish in order to hoist the title. 

“We just need to continue to be hungry on the field whether it is at practice or during a game,” Hazel said. “We know what it takes to get to the finals, and we just need to continue to put in the work.”

The team stayed in competitive shape this offseason by continuing to play at a high level.

“We all played for high-level summer teams to keep us in shape so that we would be ready to go as soon as we were back on campus,” Hazel said. 

The Leopards season continues today, September 3, at 7 PM as they face Mount St. Mary’s and look to improve to 2-1.