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Billikens Soccer Add Strong 2022 Recruiting Class

by Brian Kunderman

Fresh off a 2021 season that saw the Billikens post a 16-1-4 record, win the Atlantic 10 Conference title and advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championship, Saint Louis men’s soccer head coach Kevin Kalish today announced the Billikens’ 2022 recruiting class.

The class includes 14 newcomers, who will begin their eligibility at SLU in the upcoming fall 2022 season.

“Our 2022 recruiting class might be one of our most exciting and talented classes to date,” Kalish said. “We are extremely proud of our recent graduates and that eight of our players signed professional contracts after the season. Our staff worked diligently to fulfill our program’s positional needs with top student-athletes that fit our culture at SLU over the past year. We were able to draw top level players locally, regionally, nationally, internationally, as well as transfers with college soccer experiences at top Division I programs.

“We believe this class has everything; immediate impact, experience, leadership, incredible potential, and depth,” Kalish said. “All the while, these young men will continue to carry the tradition of SLU Soccer being amongst the nation’s elite programs capable of competing for championships on the field while excelling in the classroom and in the community. We can’t wait to welcome them all to the Billiken family.”

The 14 new Billikens are:

Matteo Boasso • M/F • O’Fallon, Ill. (O’Fallon Township High School /Saint Louis Scott Gallagher)

CJ Coppola • F • Waukee, Iowa (Waukee High School/Minnesota United FC)

Tomas Dovidaitis • M/F • Palatine, Ill. (Palatine High School /Sockers FC)

Grady Easton • D • The Woodlands, Texas (Laurel Springs School/FC Dallas/RISE SC/SMU)

Karson Gibbs • F • St. Charles, Mo. (Fort Zumwalt South/St. Louis City SC)

Mason Hart • GK • Salt Lake City, Utah (Park Hill South/Sporting Kansas City Academy)

Enzo Okpoye • D/M • Asaba, Nigeria (Blair Academy/Black Rock/Yale University)
Mads Stistrup Peterson • M/D • Odense, Denmark (Tietgen Handelsgymnasium/Odense Boldklub)

Gavin Roberts • GK • Florissant, Mo. (Marquette Catholic High School
Saint Louis Scott Gallagher)

Alberto Suarez • D • Zaragoza, Spain (Olivar/University of Central Arkansas)

Carlos Tofern • GK • Hamburg, Germany (Wichern Schule/University of Albany)

Bryce Warhaft • D/M • Weston, Fla. (Mater Academy, Hialeah Gardens/Indy Fire)

Lane Warrington • D/M • Lawton, Okla. (Lawton High School/OKC Energy FC/SMU)
Sebastian Zabala • D/M • Cummings, Ga. (Denmark High School/United Football Academy)

Matteo Boasso • M/F • O’Fallon, Ill. (O’Fallon Township High School/St. Louis Scott Gallagher) 

  • Invited to U17 US Soccer Youth National Team Regional I.D. Center
  • Scored 21 goals in MLS Next Leagues in U17-U19 seasons
  • All-Sectional Team at O’Fallon Township High School
  • Competed in MLS Next Playoffs with SLSG

Kalish on Boasso: 

“Matteo is an exciting attacking wide player with pace. He’s capable of taking players on 1v1 and beating defenders in numerous ways. He has a great engine and competes until the final whistle. We’ve watched Matteo grow as a player and think he’ll continue to grow both on and off the field at SLU. His long-term upside is exciting and we look forward to working with him on a daily basis.”

Boasso on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose Saint Louis University because it has a great education and a great soccer program. It is also very close to home and my family. I knew this was the school and program I wanted to play for.”

Other schools considered: 

Akron, Michigan State, Kentucky

Boasso Highlight Video

CJ Coppola • F • Waukee, Iowa (Waukee High School/Minnesota United FC) 

  • Has trained with both Minnesota United FC first and second teams
  • Leading goal scorer on Minnesota United U19s in MLS Next League 2021-2022
  • Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year 2020-2021
  • Broke record for most goals in one season at Waukee High School in freshman campaign
  • Won State Championship at Waukee High School

Kalish on Coppola: 

“CJ is a powerful, physical forward who wants to score every time he’s on the field. He’s extremely driven and loves to compete. No matter how many goals he has, he still wants more. That’s a sign of a true goal scorer. He can create and score in many different ways yet is continuing to still improve in many areas. We believe he’ll enjoy working with our coaching staff and will fit into our culture right away. We look forward to helping CJ reach his goals and think he has the potential to have a very successful career as a Billiken.”

Coppola on why he chose Saint Louis: 

 “When I visited campus, I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of the SLU soccer program. The coaching staff know what it takes to win and know how to produce the best players in college. I’m excited for the opportunity to come to SLU and help the program win championships.”

Other schools considered: 

Drake, Indiana, Michigan State, Memphis

Coppola Highlight Video


Tomas Dovidaitis • M/F • Palatine, Ill. (Palatine High School/Sockers FC) 

  • Spent gap year post-high school training in Ukraine
  • Third-leading goal scorer in Developmental Academy at U17 age group
  • U15 USDA National Champions with Sockers FC
  • Completed an undefeated season with Sockers FC

Kalish on Dovidaitis: 

Tomas has really grown both as a player and a person. When we first watched Tomas, we believed he had an exciting upside. Over the last year and half, he’s worked very hard to accelerate his game. He’s grown and matured into a player who is just starting to full his potential. Tomas is hungry, motivated, and constantly wants to improve. He’s tremendous in the classroom and is a person we believe will make a seamless transition into our culture and program.”

Dovidaitis on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose Saint Louis because it’s a perfect fit for me. The coaching staff made me feel right at home and believed in me. I loved the feel of the campus and felt like I fit right in. Academically and athletically I know SLU will challenge me to excel.”

Dovidaitis Highlight Video

Grady Easton • D • The Woodlands, Texas (Laurel Springs School/FC Dallas/RISE SC/SMU) 

  • Earned FC Dallas first team call up to preseason
  • Started and earned time at North Texas SC in USL
  • Captain of FC Dallas Academy
  • Started one match and appeared in seven matches at SMU
  • 2021 Fall Academic Honor Roll

Kalish on Easton: 

“Grady is a player who will fit in right away. He’s got a great profile and soft feet on the ball. Grady’s earned some incredible soccer opportunities by previously being invited to FC Dallas first team training, starting in North Texas SC matches in the USL, as well as having college soccer experience. He adds a lot of technical qualities and experience to the program and we are excited to welcome him to Saint Louis.”

Easton on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose Saint Louis University to challenge myself and pursue my aspirations of playing professional football while also getting a great education. I am excited to be part of a program with a strong culture and huge soccer history. I believe SLU will prepare me for my journey in life ahead.”

Other schools considered: 

Belmont, Loyola Maryland, Tulsa

Easton Highlight Video

Karson Gibbs • F • St. Charles, Mo. (Fort Zumwalt South/St. Louis City SC) 

  • Competes and has started with St. Louis CITY 2 in MLS Next Pro league
  • 2x Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year
  • 2x United Soccer Coaches All-American
  • All-Metro Player of the Year
  • Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year
  • 4x first-team All-Conference
  • 3x first-team All-Missouri
  • 5x Missouri State Cup Champions
  • 3x High School State Champions
  • Set single season scoring record at Fort Zumwalt with 49 goals
  • All-Time leading goal scorer at For Zumwalt with 85 goals

Kalish on Gibbs: 

“We’ve enjoyed watching Karson grow as a player and person over the years. He comes from an excellent soccer family and his game shows that. Karson is a clever attacker who knows how to create goals and score them. He has an eye for the goal and is deceptive in his play. He has also earned the tremendous opportunity to compete in MLS Next Pro and has done very well for himself with St. Louis CITY 2. We are happy that Karson chose to stay home and play at Saint Louis.”

Gibbs on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose SLU because of the rich history of success of the soccer program along with the prestigious academics. It’s the perfect fit for myself and my family. I knew immediately on my visit that the coaching staff and the environment would be key for me to continue growing not only as a player but a student.”

Other schools considered: 


Gibbs Highlight Video

Mason Hart • GK • Salt Lake City, Utah (Park Hill South/Sporting Kansas City Academy)  

  • Utah ODP 2017, 2018, 2019
  • National League 2018-19
  • 2018 ODP West All-Region team
  • 2019 Hearts of Midlothian All-Tournament team
  • Sporting Kansas City Academy from 2019-22

Kalish on Hart: 

“We believe Mason has all the tools to excel in college soccer and beyond. He’s a long-term thinker so he understands the process of what it will take to fulfill his potential of playing at the highest level. Mason is willing to do whatever it takes to improve and values developing while being a tremendous teammate. He’s already made sacrifices at a young age to put himself in the best possible position to develop on the field and we believe those sacrifices will pay off at Saint Louis.”

Hart on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose Saint Louis because the minute I got on campus and met Coach Kalish I knew this is where I wanted to further my soccer career. SLU is one of the top soccer programs in the nation and they continue to drive to be the best. During my recruitment, the coaching staff were already envisioning my development and what is in store for me in the future. That is very important because I want to surround myself with coaches and teammates that will help me grow to be the best player/person I can be.”

Other schools considered:  

Clemson, Portland, St. Mary’s of California, Utah Valley

Hart Highlight Video

Enzo Okpoye • D/M • Asaba, Nigeria (Blair Academy/Black Rock/Yale) 

  • First-team All-Ivy League
  • Helped Yale win first Ivy League Championship since 1991
  • United Soccer Coaches second-team All-Northeast Region
  • Named Amanda Walton Award at Yale for Outstanding Leadership and Sportsmanship
  • Started the most games of any Yale freshman
  • Blair Academy captain his junior and senior seasons
  • Blair Academy Player of the Year
  • MAPL Champions
  • 2x first-team All-State
  • 2x first-team All-MAPL

Kalish on Okpoye: 

“Enzo is a competitor and a winner. He’s capable of competing at a high level in multiple positions and influences winning. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to help his team compete on the field and it goes without saying how successful he is off it. Enzo is extremely bright and exudes greatness in everything he does. We believe Enzo models a Billiken student-athlete in the classroom, on the field, and in the community. We cannot wait to add him to the Billiken family.”

Okpoye on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose St. Louis because I believe it is an opportunity to play on a team that approaches soccer from a vantage point of growth. The development of players stood out in my conversations with the coaching staff, and it was refreshing to hear that individual improvement and team glory are not considered to be mutually exclusive. Moreover, I think it is a wonderful opportunity to get to play on one of the best teams in the country.”

Other schools considered: 

George Mason, California-Berkley, Dayton, Massachusetts

Okpoye Highlight Video

Mads Stistrup Peterson • M/D • Odense, Denmark (Tietgen Handelsgymnasium/Odense Boldklub 

  • Captain of Odense Boldklub
  • Danish Ball Union Youth Cup Champions: Under 15, Under 17, and Under 19
  • Naesby Talent of the Year 2020
  • Naesby Development of the Year 2019
  • Made first team debut for Odense Boldklub
  • Helped Odense qualify for UEFA Youth League
  • 2022 International Altsatten SG Turnier Champions
  • 2021 Mladen Ramljak Cup Champions

Kalish on Stistrup Peterson: 

“We really enjoyed getting to know Mads and his family during the recruiting process. He’s a player we feel can compete in a couple different positions for our program. He’s an honest, hard-working, ground covering player who always gives his best for himself and his teammates. Mads is a selfless, honest player who can take players on 1v1 in the attacking third but also defend 1v1 in the defensive third. He comes from a very supportive family who believe in the big picture of a well-rounded education on and off the field. We are really excited to welcome Mads to St. Louis and to Saint Louis University.”

Stistrup Peterson on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose Saint Louis because of the school’s academic reputation and soccer program’s success. I believe I can develop both as a player and as a person at SLU. My first impressions with the coaching staff were incredible and very comforting. I feel the programs goals and my goals aligned for success. I look forward to meeting the team and playing in front of the many fans of SLU Soccer.”

Other schools considered: 

Bradley, California Baptist, Missouri State, Old Dominion

Stistrup Peterson Highlight Video


Gavin Roberts • GK • Florissant, Missouri (Marquette Catholic High School/Saint Louis Scott Gallagher) 

  • Saint Louis Scott Gallagher Club from 2012-22
  • USL All-Tournament team in 2019

Kalish on Roberts: 

“Gavin is someone we’ve kept a close eye on for a while. He’s consistent in everything he does on and off the field. Not only does he have a tremendous work ethic on the field but he pushes himself in the classroom. Gavin is an exceptional teammate who we think will add to the locker room while competing at his best every day. We are very happy Gavin chose to stay home in St. Louis and represent Saint Louis University.”

Roberts on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose SLU because it has been my dream school from the very beginning. When I come to home games at Hermann, I fall more in love with SLU and the beautiful campus. I also had a tremendous experience with the coaching staff at the club level and I know that their coaching style was exactly what I am looking for at the next level. Being able to stay in St. Louis and continue to represent my city is an honor. I’m looking forward to becoming a Billiken.”

Other schools considered: Bellarmine, Dayton, North Carolina, Tulsa, Xavier

Roberts Highlight Video

Alberto Suarez • D • Zaragoza, Spain (Olivar/Central Arkansas)  

  • 2021 USL League Two National Champions
  • 2021 All-Atlantic first team
  • 2021 Player of the Year (ASUN Conference)
  • 2021 Defensive Player of the Year (ASUN Conference)
  • 2021 All-Conference team (ASUN Conference)
  • 2021 All-Tournament team (ASUN Conference)
  • 2021 regular-season champions
  • 2021 UCA program-record six game scoring streak
  • 6x College Soccer National Team of the Week
  • 2020 All-Conference team (Sun Belt Conference)
  • 2020 All-Tournament team (Sun Belt Conference)
  • 2019 All-Conference team (Missouri Valley Conference)
  • 2019 regular-season champions (Missouri Valley Conference)
  • 2018 regular-season champions (Missouri Valley Conference)
  • 2018 conference-tournament champions (Missouri Valley Conference)

Kalish on Suarez: 

“Alberto’s successes in college soccer certainly speak for itself. He’s a proven winner and competitor evidenced by every team he’s a part of competes for titles.  Alberto is an intelligent player who has a natural comfort with and without the ball. He can start or thwart attacks, he can score goals and stop goals, he can make plays in both boxes when called on to do so. We fully expect Alberto to make a smooth transition into our program and have a tremendous career ahead.”

Suarez on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“Saint Louis was an easy decision for me. The incredible soccer tradition of the school and their ability to develop players to the next level is the perfect fit for me. I heard a lot of positive things about the coaching staff and while getting to know them, I really wanted to experience playing for them. I can’t wait to become a Billiken and officially join the Saint Louis family.”

Other Schools Considered: 

Eastern Tennessee State, Hofstra, Missouri State, Seton Hall, St. John’s, North Carolina, North Carolina Greensboro, Memphis, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Tulsa

Suarez Highlight Video

Carlos Tofern • GK • Hamburg, Germany (Wichern Schule/University of Albany) 

  • America East Academic Team of the Year
  • America East Defensive Player of the Week
  • Ranked third in shutouts (five) & goals against average (1.12) in the America East in 2021
  • 15 starts in goal during the 2021 season
  • 2021 Great Dane Award Winner
  • 2019 ECC Goalkeeper of the Year
  • 2019 ECC First Team All-Conference
  • 2019 All-Region first team

Kalish on Tofern: 

“Carlos is a veteran goalkeeper who will add to our program right away. He has valuable Division I and II college soccer experiences which will be invaluable to him transitioning to SLU and the Atlantic 10 Conference. Carlos is a quality young man who has his priorities in line with our values and mission. He wants to reach the highest levels he can on and off the field and has the determination to be challenged to do so. He’ll be one of the first to training, last to leave, all the while maintaining exceptional grades in a rigorous academic program at SLU. We are excited to welcome Carlos to the Billiken Family.”

Tofern on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I have always wanted to play at the highest level and for a program that is of the utmost excellence. Where success is strived for everyday and nothing less than your best is accepted. A winning mentality and great teamwork are needed in order to succeed. I admire how the SLU Men’s Soccer team embodies all of these values. I could not be more happy and grateful to be a part of the Billiken family. I’m looking forward to working hard and returning to the NCAA tournament.”

Other schools considered: 


Tofern Highlight Video

Bryce Warhaft • D/M • Weston, Florida (Mater Academy, Hialeah Gardens/Indy Fire) 

  • Played with Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City academies
  • Signed amateur contract with Indy Eleven in the USL Championship
  • USL Academy Cup Champions
  • Trained with Orlando City first team in preseason in 2021
  • Participated in the Danone Nations Cup

Kalish on Warhaft: 

“Bryce is a confident and composed player. He is an excellent passer who likes to control the game out of the back. He’s played at a high level throughout his career and has earned the opportunity to train with multiple professional teams. Bryce is a true competitor and is willing to put his body on the line. He has lot of tools that we believe will help him continue to grow as a player. We can’t wait to work with Bryce.”

Warhaft on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose SLU based on the history of student athletes that have gone on to successful careers in athletics and business. I believe SLU will help prepare me both on and off the field. I look forward to joining the Billiken family.”

Other schools considered: 


Warhaft Highlight Video

Lane Warrington • D/M • Lawton, Oklahoma (Lawton High School/OKC Energy FC/SMU) 

  • SMU captain in the fall of 2021
  • Starter on Elite Eight team at SMU
  • AAC Rookie of the Week at SMU
  • Started all 16 games in 2021 at SMU
  • Played in more 60 games at SMU
  • AAC All-Rookie team at SMU
  • Three-time AAC All-Academic team

Kalish on Warrington: 

 “We were fortunate to witness Lane first hand competing against him in three regular-season matches over the last four seasons. We knew what Lane could bring to the table for any program. We fell in love with his honesty as a player, work rate, leadership skills, and playing experience competing in meaningful games. We felt Lane would be the perfect addition to our program and we were able to bring him into our program for the spring 2022 semester. He transitioned quickly into our environment and has played numerous positions for us over the course of the spring season. We believe Lane will continue to make big strides on the field and help our program compete for championships this fall.”

Warrington on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose Saint Louis because I wanted a competitive environment and coaching staff that aligned with my values and was going to prepare me to become a professional soccer player. I felt I could get everything I wanted with the SLU soccer program and at Saint Louis University.”

Other schools considered: 

Coastal Carolina, San Diego State, North Carolina, San Diego

Warrington Highlight Video

Sebastian Zabala • D/M • Cumming, Ga. (Denmark High School/United Football Academy) 

  • Started every match for UFA since joining the club
  • UFA earned one of the top seeds in the 2022 ECNL national playoffs
  • Helped UFA reach the 2022 ECNL national semifinals
  • Helped Denmark High School reach the state semifinals

Kalish on Zabala: 

“Sebastian first and foremost is a humble and respectful young man who will fit into our championship culture right away. He comes from a hard-working background and wants and is willing to work for his opportunities. Sebastian plays for a very well coached UFA program in Georgia who do a great job developing young men on and off the field. We believe Sebastian has a bright upside and can play a multitude of positions on the field. He has soft feet, is a good passer, and can defend 1v1 and open spaces well. We are really looking forward to watching Sebastian blossom in our program.”

Zabala on why he chose Saint Louis: 

“I chose SLU because of its excellence academically as well it’s successful soccer program. I knew immediately after connecting with the coaching staff that Saint Louis Univeristy was the right fit for me. I truly admire the culture at SLU in terms of bettering players in all aspects of life. I am looking forward to this great opportunity.”

Other schools considered:  

Drake, Presbyterian College

Zabala Highlight Video

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